Jeep, an American icon, is realizing its full potential as a global brand as it takes to the roads of Europe, Latin America and, more recently, Asia.
FCA has many success stories that demonstrate its model of operating globally and responsibly. One in particular is how the development of Jeep as a global brand is generating real value in terms of customer mobility needs and investment and development of local communities around the world. In 2010, FCA formed a joint venture with Chinese partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd (GAC Group) for local production of Fiat brand vehicles for China and other markets in APAC. In 2015, the partnership was expanded with the production launch of the Jeep Cherokee at the GAC FCA plant in Changsha.
In April 2016, the partnership was expanded further with the opening of a second plant in Guangzhou, which is the political, economic and cultural center of south China and the third largest city in Guangdong Province with a population of some 13.5 million people. The plant is currently producing the Jeep Renegade and a second model is expected to enter production by the end of 2016.
The Guangzhou plant demonstrates how sustainability is an integral part of the Group’s business strategy in terms of environmental stewardship, social inclusiveness and integration with the local community.
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA
Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand, FCA and COO of the APAC region
The common language for FCA plants worldwide is World Class Manufacturing (WCM), an operating methodology that represents one of the highest industrial standards in the world.
The Guangzhou plant, built and operated with GAC, reflects the common belief that application of the most advanced manufacturing standards is the only way to ensure that we maintain the quality and excellence of our products.
The plant was built on the WCM concept of improving production systems and processes by improving the working environment, reducing waste and the use of natural resources, and increasing productivity. The plant features an innovative process layout, advanced production equipment and a robust environmental management model. It is equipped with four cutting-edge workshops for stamping, welding, painting and assembly, as well as a state-of-the-art Quality Assurance center.
This new center of excellence in Guangzhou not only represents a solid foundation for the long-term development of GAC FCA in China, but also an example for the domestic manufacturing sector of WCM in action.
The plant was designed to meet the challenging and rigorous requirements of WCM Silver level from launch.
In addition, through an intensive international program, a Core Technical Team underwent training at FCA plants in Brazil and Italy where they learned the WCM technical skills and know-how necessary to prepare for production of the Jeep Renegade in Guangzhou.
Members of the team were selected based on their communication skills and willingness to be internal ambassadors for WCM.
All Supervisors and Team Leaders received training on-site to ensure maximum efficiency and production of the highest quality product through proper implementation of WCM. This combined approach has led to a higher level of people involvement, increased motivation and faster sharing and implementation of the WCM principles.
When planning a new production facility, environmental compatibility is a key factor in FCA’s technical, commercial and economic decisions. Best Available Technologies are utilized to minimize the environmental impacts. Advanced eco-compatible building materials also provide advantages such as improved insulation and fire resistance. In the Body Shop, welding fumes are filtered to ensure zero emissions.
A new compact paint process (wet-on-wet) with water-based colors reduces both energy consumption and emissions. All offices and changing rooms are equipped with energy-efficient LED lighting that provides a better work environment and is also more cost effective
At the new plant, particular attention is also given to health and safety. One example is the safety-oriented induction program offered to all employees, suppliers and contractors involved in construction of the plant. The result: zero accidents.
The Group also works with suppliers to build a sustainability culture through initiatives that are aligned with the best international standards. These include a program of semi-announced and unannounced sustainability audits conducted across the APAC region to ensure that all suppliers are in line with FCA's standards, policies and procedures.