By on December 8, 2008

A contact who works for one of Chrysler’s tier 1 suppliers shared an interesting story…  “Production at the Newark Assembly Plant (Durango, Aspen) has been ramping down as the Dec. 31 plant closing approaches.  As usually occurs just before a model-year changeover, suppliers have been receiving “shortage” orders for their components as Chrysler tries to build out existing stock with a minimum of excess parts. But a recent and unexpected order for 2000 parts raised a few eyebrows.  It seems that the Iraqi government has placed an order for 2000 Dodge Durangos to be delivered early next year. The Newark plant is more than capable of building them in time, but some suppliers with longer delivery lead times or full production schedules have been asked to pull off nothing short of a miracle to fill their orders. For certain suppliers, not even overtime will be sufficient to meet their deadline, leading to some logistical nightmare scenarios.

Discussions are underway for certain electronic components that won’t make it to Newark in time to be shipped across the pond where they will meet up with and be fitted to the vehicles.  Some creative engineering of the vehicle electronics will be required to get them to pass end-of-line verification, and once the components are installed, the vehicles will have to be reworked to factory configuration.  In addition to the logistics and shipping costs, a significant amount of man hours over and above normal production requirements will be needed to deliver these vehicles.  While the terms of the order negotiated with the Iraqi government aren’t known, it’s a safe bet that issues like these are “unforseen”, and so the associated costs will likely eat into any profit Chrysler had expected from the sale.”

[Guess whose tax money will be used to pay for these wagons?]

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