AUBURN HILLS, MI—Chrysler Group improved its overall manufacturing efficiency by 8.3% in 2002 compared to 2001, according to the Harbour Report North America 2003. The results are the best year-over-year improvement in the company’s history and the second-best of any auto manufacturer since the report’s inception in 1981.

“The breadth of Chrysler’s improvement shows the consistency of their approach, and that they have the foundation for greater achievements down the road,” says Ron Harbour, president of Harbour and Associates Inc.

The Chrysler Group has been committed to becoming more efficient to increase its competitiveness. All of the company’s plants in North America posted a gain in manufacturing efficiency in 2002. Future efforts will continue in the areas of quality and productivity, along with a renewed focus on engineering hours per vehicle and common-parts sharing.

Chrysler Group also led The Harbour Report’s year-over-year improvement in assembly operations, with a gain of 9% in efficiency. The St. Louis North Assembly plant was the most-improved plant in the report. The plant, which manufactures Dodge Ram pickup trucks, improved by 28.6%.

Chrysler credits the results to employees’ hard work throughout the plants, support from the United Auto Workers and other local unions, as well as the work of the support teams that are responsible for helping to achieve the company’s productivity goals. “We know that our workforce is the key to all the equations that make up the Harbour numbers,” says Tom LaSorda, executive vice president of manufacturing for Chrysler Group.