December 12, 2002
2004 Chrysler Pacifica to be built on same assembly line as Grand Caravan
Pilot vehicles built in preparation for the launch of the all-new 2004 Chrysler Pacifica roll off the flexible production line at the DaimlerChrysler Windsor Assembly Plant Wednesday. (Kryk Arts for DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc). Click image to enlarge
Windsor, Ontario – Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant will employ new flexible manufacturing techniques when the all-new 2004 Chrysler Pacifica is built on the same production line as the 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans in early 2003.
While the Pacifica will be built in the same plant as Chrysler and Dodge minivans, the vehicle will not be built on any one of the company’s short or long-wheelbase minivan platforms. Chrysler Pacifica will be built on its own new, unique platform, but will use existing components, including the 3.5 litre V6 engine that powers the Chrysler 300M.
The ability to produce several products under the same roof allows the Chrysler Group to save millions of investment dollars, as well as bring a vehicle to market faster, with better quality and minimal downtime. With flexible manufacturing, the Chrysler Group will save nearly $100 million (U.S.) for the Pacifica launch while simultaneously reducing tooling and facilities capital expenditures by approximately 40 percent. Savings are realized by using the company’s worldwide resources and a total system approach. A combination of creative bidding on tooling, digital manufacturing and full asset-utilization contributed to the overall savings. The company’s flexible efforts support the addition of five new products to the current long-range product plan.
“For the first time ever, a Chrysler Group manufacturing facility is able to produce two entirely different products on the same production line as a result of flexible manufacturing initiatives,” said Tom LaSorda, Executive Vice President Manufacturing, Chrysler Group. “Flexibility lends to better use of our capacity, which will ultimately increase our ability to meet market demand more quickly, with less cost, while enhancing our competitive position within the industry.”
With the production of both Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge and Chrysler minivans, the Windsor Assembly Plant will employ approximately 5,900 employees, and will maintain a line-speed of 1,325 units per day, or more than 330,000 combined units annually on a three-shift operation. Chrysler Group invested more than $300 million (U.S.) into its Windsor Assembly Plant to accommodate the Pacifica production.