All-New 2002 Dodge Ram Truck Rolls Off The Production Line in St. Louis
DaimlerChrysler Press Release Last
Edited: 07-25-01 2:00
Auburn Hills, MI -
The first all-new 2002 Dodge Ram Truck rolled off the assembly line today
at the Chrysler Group's St. Louis North Assembly Plant (SLNAP), which
is the beginning of a three-plant production ramp-up that will create
the capacity to build more than 400,000 Dodge Ram trucks annually.
held a Job One ceremony today, marking the first day customer-ready vehicles
began rolling off the production line. Joseph L. Driskill, Missouri Director
of Economic Development; and Dennis J. Hancock, Mayor of Fenton; joined
Dieter Zetsche, President & CEO of Chrysler Group; hundreds of employees;
and company, community and union leaders at the ceremony. As part of the
event, Zetsche test drove a new Dodge Ram, declaring that SLNAP was ready
for volume production.
announced a new product for the plant: the all-new Dodge Ram 2500 heavy-duty
truck coming next year.
all - new Dodge Ram will once again set a new benchmark in the truck segment
by improving and amplifying every area of the truck, from design to handling
to performance and capability," said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group
President and CEO. "The same words that describe the new Dodge Ram-
powerful, capable, versatile, reliable- apply to all people who have worked
so hard to bring this truck to the market, from the people here at the
plant, to all the engineers and suppliers throughout the value chain."
of SLNAP enabled the company to reach quality targets much earlier in
the pre-launch phase by building early prototype vehicles on the production
line to validate processes and train employees. SLNAP will continue to
share best practices and lessons learned with Saltillo (Mexico) and Warren
Truck Assembly Plants (Detroit) as they begin ramping up Dodge Ram production
in August and September.
men and women of the St. Louis North team, along with our other stamping,
powertrain and component plants, have stepped up to the plate to make
this a successful launch," said Gary Henson, Chrysler Group Executive
Vice President Manufacturing. "The flexibility of our truck operations
will allow us to adjust volume as needed, while running at higher utilization
rates, which is much more efficient. Likewise, as part of our restructuring,
we are consolidating our truck operations to bring our capacity more in
line with the market."
year's closing of the Lago Alberto Assembly Plant (Mexico), the company
will consolidate its truck production from four to three truck plants.
NORTH ASSEMBLY PLANT
The company invested $480 million in SLNAP to launch the new Dodge Ram,
including the addition of an all new 360,000 sq. ft. body shop. The flexibility
of the plant enabled the company to build more than 700 pre-production
trucks prior to launch in order to validate quality levels.
team has been working really hard, not only to prepare for this launch,
but making significant improvements in quality and efficiency," said
Jim Nihls, SLNAP Plant Manager. "Through their continued hard work
they earned the new heavy-duty 2500 truck, and it was fitting that it
was announced today."
the capacity to produce 150,000 trucks annually, or 592 per day with 2,800
employees on a normal, two-shift operation. The plant has the flexibility
to produce Regular and Quad Cab; S+, SLT, SLT+ and Sport; 4x4 and 4x2;
3.7-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8 and 5.9-liter V-8 versions of the all-new
2002 Dodge Ram.
By using a combination of statistical process controls and performance
feedback systems (PFS), the company is error proofing its production processes
to ensure top quality. The system is designed to halt production if quality
build criteria are not met. For example, if a bolt isn't tightened to
the degree specified (measured through the torque wrench which is connected
to the PFS system) the specific operation will shut down until it has
also inspects vehicles throughout body, paint and assembly processes,
as well as a series of tests after the vehicles roll off the final assembly
line. Once complete, the vehicles are tested on an evaluation course at