The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (known as SHAP) has been one of the key parts of the Company’s turn arounds since 2009. Originally slated to be closed in the late 2000s, FCA reinvested in the plant, doubling its size to build the 2015 Chrysler 200 Series cars.
However, after the change in the economy and constant shift away from the passenger car market, FCA dropped the 200 Series in favor of completely revamping SHAP once again to build the Company’s most successful vehicles, the Ram 1500. Since then, SHAP is the only plant building the fifth-generation Ram pickups for the entire global market.
This past week, FCA announced that SHAP had received the Company’s bronze award status for implementing FCA’s World Class Manufacturing (WCM) methodology. It becomes the 24th North American facility to reach the milestone award. WCM, which was first implemented by FIAT in 2006 and eventually introduced to the Chrysler Group after the alliance between the two companies in 2009, engages employees to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and the plant by promoting a sense of ownership. Plants are awarded for their efforts and also play a role in implementing WCM throughout the Company.
During a two day audit on October 16th and 17th, SHAP earned its bronze status by receiving 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars that focus on the methodology. Zero to five points are awarded for each of the 10 technical pillars, which include safety, workplace organization, logistics, and the environment, and for each of the 10 managerial pillars, such as management commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of people, motivation of operators, and commitment of the organization. SHAP earned a score of 50 giving it the bronze award, while a score of 85 would indicate a classification of “World Class”.
“The path to achieving this award has been full of twists and turns for the Sterling Heights workforce, but through it all, they have persevered and demonstrated a commitment to ensuring their future through the implementation of WCM,” Jorge Lares, Head of Manufacturing, FCA North America, said. “Reaching bronze confirms their understanding of the WCM methodology and their dedication to implementing best practices that improve the overall quality and safety in the plant. Our Sterling Heights workforce is to be commended for embracing WCM as a way of life.”
FCA currently has 10 of its North American plants that hold a silver WCM status (which requires a minimum score of 60 points during the audit). Those plants include…
- Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant
- Dundee (Michigan) Engine Plant
- Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex
- Saltillo (Mexico) South Engine Plant
- Mack Avenue (Detroit) Engine Plant
- Saltillo (Mexico) Van Assembly Plant
- Warren (Michigan) Stamping
- Toledo (Ohio) Machining
- Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan)
- Tipton (Indiana) Transmission Plant
SHAP joins 13 other FCA plants in North America that currently hold a WCM bronze designation…
- Saltillo (Mexico) Truck Assembly
- Toluca (Mexico) Assembly
- Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex
- Brampton (Ontario) Assembly
- Indiana Transmission Plant II (Kokomo, Indiana)
- Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly
- Kokomo (Indiana) Transmission Plant
- Indiana Transmission Plant I (Kokomo, Indiana)
- Kokomo (Indiana) Casting
- Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly
- Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant
- CPK Interiors, Port Hope (Ontario)
- Etobicoke (Ontario) Casting
SHAP is currently producing the 2020 Ram 1500 lineup at its 5 million square foot facility in the suburbs north of Detroit. The plant currently has 7,773 employees (7,327 hourly; 446 salaried) on a 3-2-120 schedule.