BRAMPTON, ONTARIO-Chrysler Group LLC celebrated the launch of production today of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger as well as the 2011 Dodge Challenger at its Brampton (Ontario, Canada) Assembly Plant (BAP). The vehicles are three of the 16 new or significantly refreshed products the company debuted last year.

Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne and Chrysler Canada President and CEO Reid Bigland, along with the Ontario Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan, Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell, CAW President Ken Lewenza and other local officials, joined employees in recognizing the importance of the plant, the workforce and the all-new Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger in the future success of the company.

"The launch of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger demonstrates how far this company has come in 18 months," said Marchionne. "The assistance of the governments of Canada and the Province of Ontario gave us the opportunity to create a future. Chrysler Group owes a deep debt of gratitude to taxpayers in Canada and the U.S. for the loans that enabled a vibrant, restructured company to emerge in June 2009.

"Along with the commitment, dedication and support of our CAW partners and employees, we are demonstrating what can be achieved when industry, government and labor recognize the need to come together."

The company has invested more than U.S. $1 billion since 2008 for the launch of the 300, Charger and Challenger for assembly, stamping, material handling and tooling.

"This is an important day for Chrysler Group and the CAW as it launches two new products, thereby preserving good manufacturing jobs in Canada," said Ken Lewenza, president, CAW. "The strong relationship between our two organizations will contribute to the future success of Chrysler, our employees and the products we so proudly build."

Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has made significant progress toward building a successful enterprise, including:

  • reporting an operating profit of $565 million for the first three quarters of 2010;

  • reporting the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases in the U.S. in December;

  • investing nearly $1.2 billion into the Company's existing transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, IN, to accommodate production of a new advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission; increase capacity and support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program; and accommodate future production of a new highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission;

  • announcing a $600 million investment in its Belvidere (IL) Assembly plant;

  • confirming an investment of $850 million in its Sterling Heights (MI) Assembly Plant and surrounding stamping facilities;

  • planning an investment of $150 million in its GEMA (Dundee, MI) facility;

  • adding a second shift of production – or nearly 1,100 jobs – at its Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant;

  • announcing that it would add nearly 900 jobs on a second shift at its Sterling Heights (MI) Assembly Plant in the first quarter of 2011;

  • launching the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in May;

  • launching production of the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger in December and;

  • announcing that it will invest $179 million to launch production of the 1.4-liter, 16-valve Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) at the company's Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) plant in Dundee, MI, creating more than 150 new Chrysler jobs.

    Chrysler Canada Ends 2010 on a High Note Chrysler Canada has played a vital role in helping the company meet the goals outlined in November 2009. As it begins its 86th year, Chrysler Canada reported a sales increase of 26% in 2010, achieving the highest year-over-year sales growth in Chrysler Canada history. As a result, Chrysler Canada gained two percentage points of share – more than any other manufacturer – increasing its market share to 13%. Annual sales records were reported for the Dodge Grand Caravan and Ram pickup truck with the Dodge Journey being Canada's best-selling crossover.

    World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Achieves Results in Brampton In preparation for the launch of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, employees at BAP began transforming the facility as part of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), an extensive and thorough process to restore all facilities to their original and maximum functionality.

    With the implementation of WCM, many improvements have been made to the Brampton plant, including high-efficiency lighting, upgraded cafeteria, remodeled bathrooms and freshly painted colorful walls. These facility improvements have increased the morale of the nearly 2,900 employees working on two shifts and given them a new sense of purpose. As a result, employees felt empowered to offer more than 5,000 suggestions on other improvements that could be made throughout the plant.

    The Brampton plant also invested U.S. $20 million to establish a Metrology Center onsite that would further improve quality. Used throughout the Fiat system, the 35,000-square-foot facility joins the Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant as one of the first Chrysler Group facilities and one of only a few Canadian automotive manufacturing facilities to utilize such technology.

    The Metrology Center employs more than 30 people, who are responsible for measurement and validation of the body geometry. The tools within the Metrology Center are used to verify the capability of the vehicle's entire sheet metal structure to the smallest of tolerances, as small as a human hair. The aim is to identify possible deviations between the product and the process.

    Another process used for the launch of the 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger vehicle design borrowed from Fiat is a new roof laser braze process, which allows for a seamless transition from the roof to the door opening. Brampton Assembly invested nearly U.S. $12 million to be the first Chrysler plant to install this new technology.

    The laser braze process uses an intense laser-light beam to melt a piece of silicon wire, applied by four robots, into a predetermined location between the aperture and roof panel. This fully automated technology will give the new 300 and Charger the best-in-class sculptural appearance of many luxury vehicles, while improving customer quality and achieving optimal process cost reductions.