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August 17, 2005
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Chrysler Group Begins Production of the All-New 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab


Photo: DC

  • Largest pickup cab has room for six adults

  • Tom LaSorda salutes Saltillo Assembly Plant's flexibility

  • Joseph Chamasrour lauds cooperation with labor, government

  • Saltillo Engine Plant produces one millionth HEMI(R)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Chrysler Group began building the all-new 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab pickup today at its Saltillo Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico. The Dodge Ram Mega Cab has the most interior passenger space, cargo capacity, and functionality of any pickup truck in the industry, providing comfortable seating for six adult passengers and their gear.

The Saltillo Assembly Plant also builds Quad Cab(TM) and regular models of the Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty, and the Ram SRT10. With the capability to build three different truck bodies in multiple variations, the Saltillo Assembly Plant is one of the Company's most flexible, giving it the option to vary the product mix to best meet the customer preferences without sacrificing production.

 

"The Saltillo team has been a great asset to the Chrysler Group," said Tom LaSorda, Chief Operating Officer of the Chrysler Group. "It is a versatile plant and the employees have demonstrated their ability to adopt new processes and technologies which help them efficiently produce high-quality vehicles."

LaSorda will become Chrysler Group's President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2006.

The Chrysler Group made a $210 million investment to ready the assembly plant for the addition of Mega Cab production. The investment includes state- of-the-art equipment, including a completely new body shop, world-class processes, and extensive employee training. The plant successfully executed a rolling launch of the Dodge Ram Mega Cab: production of existing models was not halted to accommodate the introduction of the new model.

During the assembly plant's changeover, approximately 200 new, high-tech robots were installed in the body shop which added efficiencies and new methods of error-proofing. The new body shop has the capability to assemble multiple vehicles with the same equipment in a continuous flow on a single assembly line. Modifications were also made to the equipment and processes in the paint shop and final assembly.

While at the plant, LaSorda announced that the Company has already built one million HEMI(R) engines at the adjacent Saltillo Engine Plant. The 5.7L HEMI engine is offered in multiple Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge vehicles and is one of two power plants offered as standard equipment in the new Dodge Ram Mega Cab.

The strong partnership that the Company has with labor and the government cleared the way for the new product and the related investment in the plant.

Extensive training enables the workforce to remain one of the best-trained in the Chrysler Group system. The plant has completed 75,000 hours of training in the last two years.

The production kick-off was celebrated today in Saltillo with plant employees, LaSorda, Chamasrour, and Gutierrez, as well as Plant Manager Santiago Pages, and Hugo Diaz Covarrubias, General Secretary of the DaimlerChrysler Mexico Worker's Union. Mexico's Secretary of the Economy, Lic. Fernando Canales and Governor of Coahuila, Lic. Enrique Martinez were also in attendance.

(Aug 11, 2005)


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