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Published: Saturday, 7/21/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Toledo Assembly rises in corporate standing

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

The Toledo Assembly complex has been recognized as one of Chrysler Group LLC's top-scoring facilities in implementing the World Class Manufacturing process developed by Fiat SpA aimed at reducing waste and improving productivity.

Chrysler said Friday the Toledo assembly plant is its third facility to earn "bronze" status as a result of the most recent progress audit, conducted Thursday and Friday. The automaker said the Toledo plant scored 52 points. It joins the Dundee Engine Plant in Dundee, Mich., and Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario as the only Chrysler plants to earn "bronze" status. Chrysler said World Class Manufacturing was implemented 27 months ago in Toledo.

"The Toledo employees have dedicated themselves to accelerating the rate of improvement in their plant in order to achieve bronze. To equal or surpass two other exceptional facilities is a remarkable achievement and we are very proud of their hard work," Scott Garberding, senior vice president and head of manufacturing/world class manufacturing, said in a statement. "Together with our UAW partners, Chrysler Group is demonstrating its commitment to making our manufacturing facilities among the best in the world."

Chrysler parent company Fiat implemented World Class Manufacturing in 2006. It was expanded to Chrysler in 2009.

Daryl Peterson, vice chairman of the Jeep unit for United Auto Workers Local 12, said he was excited to share the news with the workers on the assembly line.

"People are working hard at making WCM work," he said. "Because of their efforts, it showed today in the score we receive."

Mr. Peterson said the plant is seeing the new efficiencies pay off in Chrysler's commitment to make a major investment in Toledo. The automaker announced last year a $500 million project to expand and upgrade the plant that currently builds the Jeep Liberty and Jeep Wrangler.

Earlier this year Chrysler promoted Mauro Pino, who was then the plant manager in Toledo, to become the company's head of World Class Manufacturing.



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