Chrysler improves plant efficiency from adopting Fiat’s ways

Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne

It’s been a year since Chrysler Group adopted Fiat S.p.A.’s production system, but it has already started to manifest itself in improvement in manufacturing efficiency. Compared to ’09, Chrysler’s assembly plants are expected to improve this year with an 8% decline in operating costs and 30% decline in workplace injury.

The Fiat system works primarily through the deployment of teams whose function it is to inspect areas of the assembly line for waste. Most of the deficiencies identified have been safety issues, which when addressed, allowed Chrysler to reduce its work days lost to injury by 35% from 2008 to 2009.

Fiat’s manufacturing procedure is very similar to Toyota’s where workers form teams to analyze the assembly process and identify waste. The teams then quantify the waste caused by a particular problem.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)