Detroit Automakers Mold Their Future
The previous year’s losses and gains in the automotive arena are already reported. On one side, the industry’s victors are celebrating their success. On the other side of it, a significant few are lamenting. Conversely, every storm must come to an end and the respite must be used for the betterment of the industry. Now, Detroit automakers are in the process of recuperating from the ill effects of market shifts and evident crisis.
Earlier, Chrysler opened the billion-worth Jefferson North Assembly Plant that mirrored the travails and triumphs of Detroit – the Motor City. Lee Iacocca reluctantly opened the factory in 1992, despite forewarning from experts who said it was crazy to build an assembly plant in the inner city with an aging work force. However, Jefferson North persisted and the result was overwhelming.
Jefferson North blends the best of Chrysler and Mercedes. Said offer captures the fancy of auto aficionados. As a fact, the hot-selling Jeep Grand Cherokee produced by the plant exceeded the owner’s expectations. Fortunately, it pumped out billions of dollars plus a breath of new life on the financial ropes just after experiencing a near-bankruptcy difficulty. In the previous years up to the present time, auto competition is downright intense. It was coupled with rising petrol prices and the boom of diverse types of vehicles. With the production falling, the plant seems a likely object for shutting. Chrysler prepares to announce that its restructuring will affect the plant. The restructure will likely pave way for the rebirth of Jefferson North as the automaker unfolds its own renaissance in the coming years.
The restructuring plan calls for the Auburn Hills automaker to jointly develop more vehicles with Mercedes Benz - its sibling within Germany-based DaimlerChrysler AG. This information was divulged by individuals familiar with the plan. In view thereof, the next-generation Grand Cherokee will be built off the vehicle architecture designed for the Mercedes M-Class SUV and go into production about 2010 at the said plant in Jefferson North. The upcoming Dodge Durango SUV will be built off the same architecture at Jefferson North. Other vehicles like the forthcoming Chrysler Aspen and other Jeep vehicles will also be manufactured in said factory.
If the automaker’s plan comes to fruition, Jefferson North, once dubbed "the plant that never should have been built," could get a multimillion dollar investment and play a great role in yet another comeback in the boom of Chrysler. "It's a pretty significant deal for the plant itself," said Jeff Schuster, global forecasting analyst for J.D. Power and Associates in Troy. "(DaimlerChrysler) putting faith in the plant by bringing in Mercedes says a lot. It's giving the plant a vote of confidence."
"Iaccoca said he didn't think it was feasible building a plant in the city with a bunch of grandfathers building cars," said Aaron Taylor, the former president of United Auto Workers Local 7 who is now working for the UAW International as a service representative for Region 1. And he emphasizes, "We begged to differ."
"I had to convince the membership to drop about 144 classifications down to about 10," Taylor said. "I told them that our survival hinges on this agreement and that if we could not get this, the plant would not be built."
"We try to think positive," said Robert Ledgerwood, a nine-year veteran at Jefferson North. "Hopefully, Chrysler can continue to make some quality vehicles that people want to buy. That's the most important thing."
Ford, on the other hand, is also aimed at producing quality lineup to end its miseries in the industry. It is not only concentrating on how to improve the Volvo CV joint but the enhancements cover its entire brands and makes. Powerful lineup coupled with courage and positive vibes could pave way for the most-wanted change for the Detroit automakers.
About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.