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June 6, 2007

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Chrysler Group Maintains Greatest Productivity Improvement Over Six Years, According to Harbour Report

The Chrysler Group has improved its overall manufacturing productivity by an industry-leading 25 percent over the last six years, according to the Harbour Report North America 2007. The company has improved its overall hours per vehicle (HPV) time by 2.4 percent to 32.90 for the 2006 calendar year. The annual Harbour Report is a broadly accepted measure of productivity in the automotive industry. Nearly all major manufacturers participate in the survey. According to Ron Harbour, President – Harbour Consulting, Chrysler Group's manufacturing productivity is supported by numerous improvements throughout the company.

“Improving productivity in the face of lower production is a huge accomplishment, but none of the domestic manufacturers can afford to let up,” said Ron Harbour, president of Harbour Consulting. “Chrysler’s 19 percent reduction in total manufacturing hours per vehicle over the last five years is the biggest improvement of the six largest North American automakers over that period. The challenge now is to take that progress to the next level.”

Among the highlights for the Chrysler Group, eight assembly plants ranked within the top five of their segment for productivity improvements.

Windsor Assembly was North America's most productive minivan plant and St. Louis South, second. For the midsize SUV segment, Jefferson North Assembly took both first place for the Jeep® Grand Cherokee and fifth for the Jeep Commander; Toledo North, home of the Dodge Nitro ranked second place and third for Jeep Liberty; Newark Assembly ranked second for the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen in the large utility segments;

Brampton Assembly ranked fifth for the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum in the large – non-premium conventional segment; Warren Truck ranked fifth for the Mitsubishi Raider in the midsize – non-premium pick-up segment and Toledo Supplier Park ranked second for Wrangler in the compact non-premium SUV segment.

"The Company continues to be on task to reach its goal of world-class productivity by end of 2007," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President Manufacturing, Chrysler Group.

"We are pleased to have made productivity gains during a 10-vehicle launch year, the most significant new-vehicle introduction in Chrysler Group history."

Powertrain

The company's transmission plants continue to be the industry leader with a 4.2 percent improvement – to 3.39 hours per transmission. Eight Chrysler Group Powertrain plants scored at the top of their segment.

  • GEMA, Dundee – 1.8L, 2.0L and 2.4L four cylinder (Ranked third among all engine plants) 2.68 HPE

  • Mack Ave I – 4.7L OHC V-8.

  • Mack Ave II – 3.7L OHC V-6 (Ranked tenth among all engine plants)

  • Saltillo Engine Plant – 5.7L and 6.1L OHV V-8 HEMI®

  • Kenosha Engine Plant – 3.5L and 4.0L OHV V-6

  • Trenton Engine Plant – 3.3L and 3.8L OHV V-6

  • Indiana Transmission Plant II – W5A580 rear-wheel drive automatic transmission (Ranked second among all transmission plants)

  • Kokomo Transmission Plant – front-wheel drive automatic transmission (Ranked highest among all FWD transmission plants) 3.52 HPT

Stamping

Chrysler Group also demonstrated expertise in stamping operations with a 5 percent improvement year-over-year in hours per vehicle based upon parts-per labor hour. Additionally, Toluca (Mexico) Assembly plant, home of the Chrysler PT Cruiser and PT Cruiser convertible and Belividere (Ill.), home of the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, were among the top-10 stamping plants – the highest for a domestic manufacturer.

The company is deploying a number of initiatives intended to continue improving manufacturing excellence in the future. Among them are increased support of assembly employees, continued employee training and new workplace practices that are designed to foster greater creativity and innovation among employees on the plant floor. The company has also redesigned material handling operations and employee work stations to improve productivity and maintain high quality levels.

The Harbour Report is one of several measures the Chrysler Group uses to evaluate its manufacturing operations. Other areas that are tracked by the company include safety, quality, delivery, cost and morale, all of which contribute to manufacturing performance.

(June 2, 2007)


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