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PatriotPatriot Production Begins
Posted by mike on 2006/12/21 8:14:00 (1940) reads

From a Chrysler Group press release

Chrysler Group’s Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant launched production of the Company’s tenth all-new vehicle this year, as the first 2007 Jeep Patriot came off the assembly line today. The plant which was extensively retooled in 2005, has become a flagship for Chrysler Group's adoption of flexible manufacturing. Production of the all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber began in January 2006 and was followed in May by the all-new 2007 Jeep Compass.

Flexible manufacturing is allowing Chrysler Group to bring its new vehicles to market more quickly and the Belvidere Assembly Plant to manufacture multiple products on one assembly line. Additionally, flexible manufacturing has positively impacted production costs by a savings of up to 85 percent in some instances. The Chrysler Group continues to implement its flexible manufacturing processes plant-by-plant.

"We are now seeing the results of our flexible manufacturing strategy that leads to a competitive advantage for the Chrysler Group," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President - Manufacturing. "Thanks to Belvidere's ability to build multiple models off one assembly line, we expect the production of three all-new models to cost significantly less than the initial investment we made in the plant to build one product."

Robotics
At the core of the new manufacturing process is a body shop comprised of robots instead of the dedicated tooling that was previously used. Belvidere is Chrysler Group's first assembly plant to use a body shop comprised entirely of robotics. Only the robots' end effectors, or "hands," need to change in order to build the different models. That tool change is done automatically, within the time it takes to cycle from one vehicle to the next. In addition, the Belvidere plant is flexible enough to vary the production mix between three products anywhere from 0 to 100 percent of each model. A fourth model can also be piloted, or test-built, at the same time, helping reduce the time needed to make new-model changeovers. The new body shop and other upgrades are part of a $419 million total Belvidere investment announced in 2005.

Many changes are taking place within the Chrysler Group manufacturing process to accommodate the multiple models. For example, new ways to make the required amount of stamping dies are saving the company up to 60 percent on the cost of dies.

Material Flow
New methods of material flow are being implemented to manage the complexity of three models being built on one assembly line. The inbound parts sequencing center manages more than 1,799 different parts that are used in the Jeep Compass, Dodge Caliber and Jeep Patriot build process. In addition to sequencing, this center provides parts metering, kitting and container management to the Belvidere Assembly Plant and delivers complete subassemblies just-in-time to the manufacturing floor.

A tunnel connects the 500,000 square-foot sequencing center to the Belvidere Assembly Plant. This facility, operated by TDS/US — one of Chrysler Group’s largest minority-owned suppliers — represents the highest level of integration within a Chrysler Group plant. TDS/US organizes parts, puts them in “kits” for individual work stations and delivers them to the end of a connecting tunnel for Belvidere employees to transport to the manufacturing floor. This process maintains in-plant stocks at optimal levels, minimizes delivery time and reduces costs an estimated 12 percent a year compared with the previous process. By carefully managing the material flow at the plant, the sequencing center helps workers focus on manufacturing quality and allows Belvidere to remain one of the most efficient manufacturing examples in the Chrysler Group family. These pre-assembled modules reduce the number of components required to assemble the Jeep Compass, Dodge Caliber and Jeep Patriot improving quality, productivity and worker ergonomics.

Smart
A new workplace organizational model, coined Smart manufacturing, is increasing the flexibility of the Belvidere workforce, while fostering greater creativity and innovation from plant employees. This model is being implemented throughout Chrysler Group's Manufacturing organization. In addition to extensive training, the new workplace model lets employees design their own work stations. These changes provide a better work environment for employees and give increased support to assembly line team members.

"Belvidere Assembly is running on all cylinders," said Kurt Kavajecz, Plant Manager - Belvidere Assembly Plant. "We have faced many challenges this year, we added two shifts, a new robotic body shop and started production of three all-new models; Jeep Compass, Dodge Caliber and Jeep Patriot. Our new workplace organization model, in which employees work in small teams, has fostered greater creativity and innovation on the plant floor and made for a very smooth process."

Jeep Patriot
Chrysler Group’s Jeep Patriot introduces rugged, classic Jeep styling at an affordable, entry-level price.
The Jeep® brand continues its expansion into untraveled territory with the 2007 Jeep Patriot. This all-new compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) delivers fun, freedom, utility and best-in-class Jeep 4x4 capability, as well as a new entry-level price point for the Jeep brand.

Based on the Jeep Patriot concept first introduced at the 2005 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, the 2007 Jeep Patriot is a modern interpretation of traditional Jeep styling. Jeep Patriot combines the packaging and interior flexibility of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a compact car or small pickup. Safety features, such as standard side-curtain air bags and standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), add to Jeep Patriot’s tremendous value.

All-new Jeep technology gives Patriot more capability than any other vehicle in its class. Jeep Patriot will be available in the United States and Canada in three drive configurations: front-wheel drive, Freedom Drive I™ (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with Lock mode) and Freedom Drive II™ Off-Road Package (a full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with low range that provides true Jeep 4x4 Trail Rated capability).

The Chrysler Group is the city of Belvidere's largest employer and has a significant impact on the community with 3,400 employees throughout Illinois who generate $188 million in annual wages (year-end 2005). The 3.7 million square-foot Belvidere Assembly Plant is represented by United Auto Worker's Union Locals 1268 and 1761. The plant began production of the Plymouth Fury and Dodge Monaco in 1965.

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Poster Thread
CJtoTJ
Posted: 2006/12/26 7:18  Updated: 2006/12/26 7:18
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/7/10
From:
Posts: 17
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
Great Going Jeep,
Let me vent, trail rated only if equiped with the CVT Auto, not like I would purchase one of these soft roaders. As it is we have a CRD LIBERTY that is a certified soft roader and of course that only came with the AUTO. Now listen up a recall has been issued on that vehicle and the torque converter needs to be replaced and detune the oil burner so that the crappy AUTO doesn't Crap OUT

Poster Thread
ENBr
Posted: 2006/12/23 19:20  Updated: 2006/12/23 19:20
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/7/17
From:
Posts: 20
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
With a lift and larger tyres, it might be quite good...

Hopefully the transmission will stand up to it - maybe they might come with manual transmission

Poster Thread
trevorj
Posted: 2006/12/22 22:07  Updated: 2006/12/22 22:07
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/6/30
From: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 124
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
I stand corrected. Glad i asked

Poster Thread
AKjeep
Posted: 2006/12/22 21:22  Updated: 2006/12/22 21:22
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/10/25
From: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 37
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
Check out Jeep.com . They just posted the mileage for the patriot and also they added the build and price feature. 4x4 manual for about 16grand. I think that this Jeep will really take off with that kind of pricing.

Poster Thread
jason
Posted: 2006/12/22 14:54  Updated: 2006/12/22 14:54
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/6/30
From: glendale,az
Posts: 93
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
The press event got moved to mid January


Jason

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2006/12/22 10:30  Updated: 2006/12/22 10:30
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
A comparison of a few other SUV 4-bangers shows that the Patriot stacks up pretty well:

Jeep Patriot 2.4L/172HP/165ft-lbs
Honda CR-V/Element 2.4L/166HP/161ft-lbs
Ford Escape/Merc Mariner 2.3L 153HP/152ft-lbs
Pontiac Vibe 1.8L 126HP/122ft-lbs

...if you like 4-bangers, that is...

Poster Thread
RUBICON
Posted: 2006/12/22 10:06  Updated: 2006/12/22 10:06
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
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Posts: 377
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
I laugh when people complain about 172hp being weak. Granted, I drive a HEMI powered Commander and a torquey I6 powered Cherokee.

But look at back at any Jeep before the CJ7 and you see "wimpy" little engines putting out as little as 60hp. Even the Tornado engine only put out 140hp. The Patriot is not a heavy vehicle like the WK or XK. It isn't built for speed.

Poster Thread
bkcurtis
Posted: 2006/12/22 19:56  Updated: 2006/12/22 19:56
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/10/8
From: NW Indiana, USA
Posts: 154
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
. . . and those "wimpy" engines helped carry us to victory thru the rain and snow of Europe all the way across the Pacific Islands to Japan's doorstep during WWII.

Poster Thread
RUBICON
Posted: 2006/12/26 19:39  Updated: 2006/12/27 9:54
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
From:
Posts: 377
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
That was exactly my point. My dad's CJ5 had a little 4-cylinder but that vehicle would crawl over ANYTHING you put in front of it. Horsepower isn't everything when it comes to Jeeps.

I love having the power and every luxury in my Commander as it is a vehicle I take on road trips. I never have to worry about passing a semi (or two).

But if I was looking for just a daily commuter vehicle or an off-roader then I don't need all that horsepower.

A lot of people whined about the new JK not having more power... believe me it doesn't need it. Sure a torque-filled diesel would be an added bonus but the JK handles quite well with the power given to it.

The 190hp is enough to motivate my Cherokee. I am sure the 172hp would motivate the Patriot just fine.

Poster Thread
BigDuke6
Posted: 2006/12/21 8:39  Updated: 2006/12/21 8:39
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/1/9
From: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 20
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
Finally!!! I am most anxious for the offical press debut in AZ so we can see what the Patriot can do.

Poster Thread
trevorj
Posted: 2006/12/21 15:16  Updated: 2006/12/21 15:16
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/6/30
From: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 124
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
At the risk of being lynched, I have to ask. With the 4 wheel independent suspension and weak engine. What exactly makes this the most capable in the soft-road class? If you can call that 'class'

Poster Thread
bkcurtis
Posted: 2006/12/21 20:05  Updated: 2006/12/21 20:05
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/10/8
From: NW Indiana, USA
Posts: 154
 Re: Patriot Production Begins
172 HP for a 4 cyl engine is not weak. Check out some of the Patriot's 4 cyl competors, and I think you will find that it outperforms in HP and torque. For its off-road ability, we will have to wait and see how it performs. I think we will be pleasantly surprised by its performance, but only time will tell.
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