Focus on Excellence Will Transform Mexico's Supply ChainTue, 09/01/2015 - 12:44
Q: Which role does Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) México play in the company’s global strategy?
A: Mexico is a strategic country for the FCA Group because of its privileged geographical location, quality standards, and labor costs. Furthermore, the large number of automotive suppliers available and its extensive FTA network make it a really competitive country in the global market. FCA has been in Mexico for 76 years, and in that time we have become one of the biggest players in the local automotive industry, establishing more than 290 dealers nationwide. We now have seven vehicle and engine manufacturing facilities with more than 10,000 employees, each delivering our products to the local and the international market. Our combined portfolio is among the most extensive in the market, and is continuously being renovated in order to satisfy client demands. FCA’s strategy has always been focused on creating attractive products for our customers, with the best quality and technology, to remain one of the most important automotive companies in Mexico. Since 2009, FCA México has been implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), which is a production methodology designed to reduce waste and increase productivity in all plants. In December 2012, the Saltillo complex was awarded a bronze status in WCM for its results in implementing this new manufacturing approach.
Q: What characteristics have made the Chrysler 200, the Dodge Journey, and the Fiat 500 the best-selling models in the country?
A: The 2015 version of the Chrysler 200 can be equipped either with the award-winning 3.6l Pentastar V6 engine or with a standard 2.4l MultiAir®2 Tigershark I4 engine. This is the industry’s first mid-sized sedan with a standard 9-speed automatic transmission, along with state-of-theart technology in electronic shifting with a rotary dial. Furthermore, its drag coefficient is 0.27, which gives it amazing fuel efficiency and less air resistance. In comparison, the Dodge Journey offers the choice of a four- or sixcylinder engine, and capacity for five to seven passengers. Additionally, this model has the best storage in its segment thanks to its fold-flat seats, its second-row in-floor storage, and front-passenger “Flip-N-Stow” in-seat storage with enough space for laptops and other small items. Finally, the Fiat 500 is a vehicle with a wide range of options. Its modern and efficient engine with the MultiAir system offers a power range between 101hp and 160hp, and it features a thoroughly complete security system that includes seven airbags and electronic safety control systems.
Q: What are the key pillars of FCA’s strategy to develop a strong supplier base in the country?
A: We have eight foundational principles to develop a strong supplier base: mutual transparency, proactive collaboration, sense of urgency, integrity, personal accountability, long-term mindset, empathy and advocacy, and continuous improvement. These pillars have allowed us to create a good relationship with our providers in the country. Mostly, we created these directives to achieve bestin-class quality and a flawless execution in our operations, collaborating to implement world-class innovations alongside our suppliers. The approach has allowed us to rapidly adapt to the market’s transformation, aligning the suppliers’ structures to ours, and embracing a culture of continuous improvement and WCM throughout the entire manufacturing chain. We have also invested in a supplier park in the State of Mexico, improving our logistics flow by having our suppliers close to the plant. This has allowed us to reduce our inventory costs and packaging investments, giving us more control over leasing costs normally charged to suppliers. Our suppliers now have excellent expansion opportunities, as well as advantageous manufacturing flexibility. FCA continues to invest in Mexico, evidenced by some of our recent projects that include the Fiat 500 BEV in our Toluca assembly and stamping plant, the Ram ProMaster in the Saltillo van assembly facility, and the Tigershark Engine in the Saltillo North Engine plant.
Q: How is FCA contributing to Mexico’s transformation from a low-tech to a high-tech automotive industry?
A: In 2005, we opened our Engineering Center, putting us at the forefront of technological advances for engineering and product development. Additionally, FCA has created different programs to attract and develop its workforce, working directly with several technical schools and universities. To continue succeeding in the industry, we must have the best people, which is why we focus on people who want to make a difference.