Step Inside Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant
Sitting on more than 285 acres and spanning a massive 5 million square feet, the Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly Plant located in Sterling Heights, Michigan has stood strong for the past 60 years, drawing on a long-standing tradition of the “maker’s” ingenuity, along with an undeniable legacy of resurgence.
The Sterling Heights Plant illustrates the story of Chrysler’s history – one that follows the American auto maker’s journey – from the highest heights to the disparaging depths and everything in between.
While Chrysler had successfully started out manufacturing vehicles in the 1920’s like the 70 and the Touring, the car company had begun making significant contributions to the war effort in the late 1930’s and the early 1940’s in aerospace technology.
As a bona-fide contractor for the United States Army, Chrysler continued producing medium range ballistic missiles even after World War II had ended.
At the time, the Sterling Heights facility was known as the Michigan Ordinance Missile Plant. In 1980, the missile facility was converted into an automobile plant – and three years later Chrysler took the reigns.
The Michigan-based plant was renovated in 2006 after production on the Sebring and Stratus ended and by 2010, the facility was slated for closure after Chrysler filed for bankruptcy.
According to Detroit Mayor, Richard Notte, the idea of a long-standing city structure being lost along with thousands of jobs, was unfathomable.
“That day in April 2009 when Chrysler announced plans to close SHAP was one of the darkest days in the history of the city,” said Notte.
Fortunately, a $1 billion investment into the plant kept the doors open and eventually led to the addition of a new paint and body shop and an updated assembly line.
The revitalization effort became a clear focus for Chrysler, its employees, and the community at large and production of the Chrysler 200 sedan was on the verge of success.
Approximately 900 new jobs were added, with a $165 million dollar body shop on the horizon. The changes to the plant granted Chrysler the ability to produce better, more efficient mid-sized cars.
In order to demonstrate the kind of technology and precision that is now being built into the 2015 Chrysler 200, the automaker has recently collaborated with Google Maps to offer a virtual tour of the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.
The tour guides user through the 5 million square foot facility on a 360-degree voyage, which includes virtual “walk-throughs” of a number of different stations including body assembly, quality control, and production.
Chrysler wanted to introduce an innovative, new way for users to research a vehicle. Beginning with a short introductory film, the same technology that launched Google Street Maps, provides interactive videos, which help bring the plant to life.
This latest collaboration is yet another chapter in the plant’s flourishing, 60 year history – a history that Mancari’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM believes coincides with the level of passion and commitment Chrysler has maintained year after year, for its people and its products.
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