The Jefferson North Assembly Plant is the latest FCA US facility to be recognized for its efforts in eliminating waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety.
The only auto assembly plant located completely within the city of Detroit was awarded a bronze designation in the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) methodology on Nov. 14, 2018. It becomes FCA’s 12th North American facility to currently hold bronze and the Company’s sixth facility to reach an award level since January of this year.
The designation recognizes the long-term commitment of more than 5,000 Jefferson North employees to making significant improvements in how they build the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and Dodge Durango.
What is WCM?
WCM is a structured and rigorous production methodology designed to make plants more flexible and competitive. Its principles are applied to all aspects of the plant, from quality to maintenance, cost control to logistics, with the goal of reaching zero accidents, zero waste, zero breakdowns and zero inventory. The WCM methodology is unique in that it engages the workforce to create and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a sense of ownership. Independent audits are conducted throughout the year to assess WCM know-how and competence as demonstrated during employee-conducted presentations and a review of projects that have been executed across the plant.
Why is WCM Important?
Because the focus of WCM is to eliminate waste of all kinds, it is key to reducing the impact of the FCA production processes. It means using resources wisely, making all FCA facilities more productive and creating clean, ergonomically-friendly workstations for employees. WCM recognizes that the employees are important to achieving the Company’s business objectives.
“Achieving bronze is a well-deserved honor for the team at Jefferson North. As we have been retooling and shifting production at other plants, Jefferson North has been running virtually non-stop to build some of our most popular vehicles. Our Jefferson North workforce is to be commended for its dedication to applying WCM principles to improve the plant’s operations and embracing it as a way of life.”
– Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America.
“Our Jefferson North workforce is the reason why this plant is being recognized with the WCM bronze designation. Their drive to continuously improve our processes to build the best vehicles possible for our customers speaks to the character of our employees.”
– Zach Leroux, Plant Manager – Jefferson North Assembly Plant, FCA US
“It’s a great achievement. It was a lot of hard work. Working together as a team, we achieved Bronze.”
– Wade Hills, UAW Joint Safety Pillar Lead – Jefferson North Assembly Plant, FCA US
“We engaged the employees. We had people on the floor asking how they can help the plant achieve Bronze.”
– Caron Recker, WCM Lead – Jefferson North Assembly Plant, FCA US
World Class Manufacturing Facilities
There are 10 FCA North American plants that have been designated silver, five* of which have been awarded in 2018:
- Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant
- Dundee (Michigan) Engine Plant
- Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex
- Saltillo (Mexico) South Engine Plant
- Mack Avenue (Detroit) Engine Plant
- Saltillo (Mexico) Van Assembly Plant*
- Warren (Michigan) Stamping*
- Toledo (Ohio) Machining*
- Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan)*
- Tipton Transmission Plant*
In addition to Jefferson North, there are 11 facilities that currently hold the WCM bronze designation:
- Saltillo (Mexico) Truck Assembly
- Toluca (Mexico) Assembly
- Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex
- Brampton (Ontario) Assembly
- Indiana Transmission Plant II (Kokomo, Indiana)
- Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly
- Kokomo (Indiana) Transmission Plant
- Indiana Transmission Plant I (Kokomo, Indiana)
- Kokomo (Indiana) Casting
- Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly
- CPK Interiors, Port Hope (Ontario)
About Jefferson North Assembly Plant
- 1991: Began construction on the plant
- 1992: Produced the first Jeep Grand Cherokee
- 1999: Underwent an expansion
- May: Started production of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- July: Began second shift of production
- December: Started production of the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango, the first Dodge ever to be produced at Jefferson North
- January: Announced addition of a third crew (1,100 jobs)
- October: Third crew began
- 2013: Celebrated the 5M vehicle produced, a Billet Silver 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was donated to the USO
- 2016: Produced its 6M vehicle, a 75th anniversary 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee in Granite Crystal