New Chrysler celebrates 24 years of minivans

New Chrysler celebrates 24 years of minivans  
Filed under:
News, Chrysler
on 08/27/2007

Source: Chrysler

Today, The New Chrysler celebrates the manufacturing launch of the all-new 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans at its Windsor (Ontario, Canada) Assembly Plant. Nearly 24 years ago, Chrysler launched a new segment of automotive transportation called the minivan. Almost 12 million minivan sales later, Chrysler will launch yet another new minivan featuring an industry-first all-new Swivel 'n Go™ seating system and a center console table.

"Ever since the first minivan rolled off the assembly line here in Windsor 24 years ago, this vehicle has embodied the spirit of innovation that is part of Chrysler's DNA," said Tom LaSorda, President and Vice Chairman, The New Chrysler. "A decade later, the home of the minivan has become one of our first plants to implement an enhanced flexible manufacturing strategy and added a Smart Manufacturing workplace model promoting greater innovation and creativity on the plant floor.”

A $511 million (USD) investment in 2005 to the manufacturing and paint operations at the Windsor (Ontario, Canada) Assembly Plant allow the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans to be built on the same assembly line as the Chrysler Pacifica.

Two hundred and eighty-six million dollars of the investment will give the plant the capability to build three different vehicle platforms and piloting a fourth simultaneously on the same production line. The ability to build multiple products on the same line enables the company to build and test prototype vehicles much earlier in the launch phase. Because production tooling and processes are employed (rather than a simulated line which is often used for prototypes), the company can train operators and resolve manufacturing issues much sooner. Quality improvements are another benefit.

"These are very important products for The New Chrysler as we remain committed to the minivan market and maintain our leadership position,” said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President – Manufacturing, The New Chrysler. “Our focus on flexible manufacturing and new investments, adding state-of-the art technology to plant operations, will help us ensure we can meet those demands and build almost anything, anywhere, with improving speed and quality.”

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