Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne has been named a 2012 John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA). The MMA award, which recognises the positive contributions of Michigan manufacturers to the industry and their local communities, was presented during a luncheon held in conjunction with the MMA CEO Executive Forum at the Henry Centre for Executive Development in Lansing.
Sergio Marchionne was singled out for his successful leadership of Chrysler Group through one of the most difficult periods in the automaker's 87-year history.
"The [Chrysler Group] turnaround between then and now has been nothing short of remarkable, with the resurgence of the company being seen as symbolic of the promising future of the entire American manufacturing industry," said Chuck Hadden, MMA President and CEO.
In a taped message to the MMA CEO Executive Forum Sergio Marchionne, accepting on behalf of Chrysler Group's 25,000 Michigan-based employees, said: "Chrysler Group has deep roots in Michigan. We recognise the value of our company's origins here and the special role Michigan has played in our development and our sustenance. We are committed not only to attaining the world's highest standards for safety, efficiency and quality, but also to doing our part to protect and contribute to the well-being of the state of Michigan."
In accepting the award on behalf of the Company and Marchionne, Scott Garberding - Senior Vice President of Manufacturing/World Class Manufacturing (WCM), said that while it took a massive team effort at every level in order to revitalize Chrysler, support from the top was critical: "Sergio's personal interest and insistence on implementing a comprehensive, rigorous and people-focused manufacturing approach was crucial to implementation of the World Class Manufacturing, first at our partner Fiat and then at Chrysler, in cooperation with the UAW."
WCM has played a vital role in changing the culture at Chrysler, according to Garberding. Since its implementation, the Company has achieved major improvements in first-time quality and warranty costs, and has driven significant cost savings.
About Chrysler Group
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.