FCA TolucaTue, 09/15/2015 - 16:03
With more than 40 years in Mexico, FCA México’s Toluca Complex is one of the oldest manufacturing plants in the country and has one of the richest traditions. This facility was built in 1968, and throughout the years it was the production site of some of the most emblematic vehicles like the Dodge Dart Valiant, Chrysler Le Barón, Plymouth Barracuda, Dodge Dart K, Dodge Phantom, Dodge Shadow, Dodge Spirit, Dodge Stratus, Dodge Neon, and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. The production of this last model ended on July 9th, 2010, after more than ten years and 1.3 million units.
Starting in December that year, the company started to manufacture the Fiat 500 and in March 2011, the Dodge Journey and the Fiat Freemont were added to the production line. Nowadays, these vehicles are exported to more than 80 countries, and between January and July 2015 the company’s total production was of 140,693 units. Furthermore, according to FCA’s CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Toluca Complex inaugurated the production of the Fiat 500 in record time, just 17 months after the project was approved.
The Toluca Complex includes two plants: an assembly plant with an area of 691,780m2, and a stamping plant with a productive space of 25,468m2 that manufactures body panels for each of these vehicles. A total of 2,606 people work at the assembly facility, while only 203 work in the stamping plant. Out of the combined total, approximately 2,300 people receive hourly wages, the rest are paid a fixed salary and work in either one of two shifts.
In terms of technology, thanks to its more than 700 robots, the Toluca Complex has enough flexibility to produce more than 600,000 vehicle combinations including engines, transmissions, and colors. Furthermore, as part of the alliance between Fiat and the Chrysler Group in 2009, Fiat introduced the new World Class Manufacturing methodology to the plant. This initiative was created by Fiat in 2005 with the goal to reduce waste, increase productivity, and promote a sense of pride among employees. Now, this methodology has become a key factor for all plants in the FCA Group, with more than 1,500 employees from 40 plants around the world receiving training in the company’s World Class Manufacturing Academy in Warren, Michigan. “This focus creates added value to our clients’ business, ensuring the quality of the product and enough flexibility to respond to the customers’ needs at all levels of the company,” says Mauro Pino, Director of World Class Manufacturing at FCA Group.
World Class Manufacturing encourages employees to provide alternatives on how to improve their jobs and plants. By 2011, 282,000 employee suggestions were made in the entire Chrysler Group, of which 70% has been implemented. In March 2015, the Toluca Complex was awarded the Bronze level in this methodology, making it the second facility in Mexico and the ninth in the NAFTA region to receive this recognition. Moreover, this plant was recognized as the best facility in the whole FCA Group in terms of water consumption reduction.