The Chrysler Group today officially launched production of the all-new 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab at its Saltillo Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico. The Saltillo Plant, which currently produces the Dodge Ram Mega Cab, Dodge Ram Power Wagon, and Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 models, takes on production of the Ram 3500 Chassis Cab as part of DaimlerChrysler's Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS).
DaimlerChrysler recently invested an additional $48 million into the plant, allowing for production of the Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab and expanding the plant facility by 120,000 square feet. This expansion allows the plant to produce commercial vehicles and will accommodate new frame configurations. This follows a $210 million investment into the plant for production of the all-new 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab in 2005. The expansion increases production capacity and enables the plant to manage the greater complexity, including all-new, commercial-grade chassis and suspensions, including two cab-axle lengths, regular and Quad Cab versions, 4x2 and 4x4 variants, and single- and dual-rear-wheel models.
"The Saltillo facility's versatility, capability and adaptability makes it one of Chrysler Group's most flexible plants, allowing the company to adjust production between the various models to better respond to customer needs," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President - Manufacturing. "Chrysler Group's flexible manufacturing capability helps to build a positive business case for new products and derivatives, as each plant is able to maximize its production capacity."
The Saltillo Assembly Plant has 2,100 employees working on two shifts and is one of five Chrysler Group production facilities in Mexico.
Chrysler Group's Flexible Manufacturing Strategy allows the Company to produce a higher quality product, faster, for lower cost. FMS is also a key enabler in the company's plan to launch 10 all-new vehicles in 2006, the most in Chrysler Group's history. In order to balance production with demand, the FMS approach allows the company to efficiently build lower-volume vehicles that take advantage of market niche, and to quickly shift production volumes between different models within a single plant or among multiple plants.
FMS is being implemented product by product and plant by plant across the Chrysler Group. New investment is introducing state-of-the-art technology to Chrysler Group plants, enabling the company to produce more than one vehicle on a production line and conduct rolling launches of new models. Additionally, Chrysler Group's workforce is becoming more flexible with the implementation of team concepts and an increased emphasis on supporting assembly line operators.