Fiat Chrysler Automobiles invested $744 million and hired more than 1,200 workers since September of 2014 to build the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan at its Windsor Assembly Plant.
The Ontario, Canada, plant has built 14.3 million FCA minivans since 1983, when Chrysler pioneered the category with the first minivan, the Dodge Caravan. The $744 million is part of the $2.6 billion Chrysler invested in the Pacifica.
FCA invested the $744 million to add modest footprint additions to complement the Company’s product quality initiatives, such as the addition of a Component, or Metrology, Center and Complete Technical Vehicle Validation (CTVV), as well as upgrade equipment and processes to produce the all-new Pacifica and the existing minivan on the same line.
The plant also added the first-of-its-kind PULSE transfer system in a North American body shop, first dual arm Laser Radar measuring system in the world in the Component Center, and the first FCA North American application of an Oil Suparator in the paint shop, according to FCA.
FCA US added a 32,000-square-foot Component Center as part of the plant’s body shop. The goal of the Component Center is to allow engineers to efficiently solve problems, identify all sources of build variation, and resolve any fit and finish issues before customer vehicles are built.
The standardized equipment and tools within the Component Centers include traditional Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM), as well as inspection equipment such as a Meisterbock gauge, Quality Assurance Fixture (QAF), and blue light laser scanners that allow for 3-D measurement and certification of both plant processes and incoming supplier parts.