The Chrysler Group will reduce initial capital expenditures by 30 percent in preparation for the launch of the all-new 2004 Dodge Durango due to flexible manufacturing strategies and re-use of existing tooling, the unit’s head of assembly, stamping and component operations said during the 2003 Management Briefing seminars in Traverse City, MI. Craig Corrington, Chrysler Group Vice President — Assembly, Stamping and Component Operations, discussed pre-launch activities at Newark Assembly as an example of the company’s flexible manufacturing strategy. “The conversion of Newark Assembly Plant for the all-new Dodge Durango is indicative of the company’s new direction for manufacturing,” said Corrington. “By applying flexible manufacturing principles in an existing facility with tooling from current Durango production, we are able to reduce our initial capital expenditures by 30 percent.” According to Corrington, efforts at the Newark Assembly Plant demonstrate the Chrysler Group’s ongoing changes to further improve productivity and flexibility in its manufacturing operations. The facility recently underwent a conversion to re-tool existing equipment and processes, enabling both the current and new Durango to be built simultaneously on the same production lines.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials