On this day of bloodletting at Chrysler, there is at least one good piece of news from Auburn Hills. In what should be a surprise to precisely no one, Chrysler has made it official that when the Dodge Challenger enters production, it will roll off the line of the Brampton, Ontario assembly plant. Since the Challenger is built off Chrylser's LX platform, and is likely to be relatively low in volume compared to the Mustang, it makes sense to build it alongside it's platform mates, the Magnum, Charger, and Chrysler 300. Production of the Challenger will kick off in the spring of 2008, making this a 2009 model. The Chrysler press release is after the jump.
• Brampton, Ontario plant will begin production in the spring of 2008
• Plant will become Chrysler Group's first to build four different models
• DaimlerChrysler's commitment to Canada continues
• Countdown begins for highly anticipated sports coupe
Toronto - DaimlerChrysler announced today that the all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger will be built at its Brampton Assembly Plant near Toronto.
"It's good news that the Dodge Challenger will be added to the Canadian production line-up," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – DaimlerChrysler Canada. "Quickly bringing desirable new products such as the Dodge Challenger to market is critical to keeping our plants humming and our dealerships busy."
The Brampton plant also produces Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum and works on three shifts. The Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant also works on three shifts and produces Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans, as well as Chrysler Pacifica. Production of the Dodge Challenger will begin next year and preparations to ready the plant are already underway.
The decision to locate this important product in Ontario was partially the result of the Ontario government's strong support for the Brampton Assembly Plant through its contribution to the plant-wide third shift training program, which was essential to the successful launch of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum, and now the successful launch of the Dodge Challenger.
"Brampton is our first plant to demonstrate the ability to build four models on one line," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President – Manufacturing, Chrysler Group. "As we continue to expand our new model lineup and further implement our flexible manufacturing strategy, other facilities will also have this capability."
Lean manufacturing and product development strategies also allow the Chrysler Group to bring new models, like the Dodge Challenger, to market more quickly. First revealed as a concept vehicle at the North American International (Detroit) Auto Show in 2006, it was announced this past summer that the 2008 Dodge Challenger would be going into production in 2008.
Riding a wave of fan anticipation, a new clock will be on display along with the Dodge Challenger concept car to count down to the unveiling of the production version of the car at the Chicago Auto Show next year. Today, the count-down clock shows 358 days.
"Our speed to market means that Challenger production is now measured in only days," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President – Global Marketing, Chrysler Group. "The ability to quickly react to ever-changing consumer tastes is a competitive advantage for the company."
It will be just a little over two years from Dodge Challenger's concept car introduction to the time it will be available in dealerships.
The company has already seen passionate response to the Dodge Challenger with its bold, powerful and capable attributes. Challenger content received a total of 1.5 million visits on the Dodge.com Web site in 2006 and 20,000 potential customers have asked the company for more product information regarding the car.
The production version of the 2008 Dodge Challenger will be true to both its historical and modern concept car roots as a two-door, HEMI® V-8-powered, rear-drive vehicle. It will be the first coupe built on Chrysler Group's highly successful large car platform, which includes the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum.