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Pentastar progress

by David Zatz on

Pentastar V6

Chrysler’s Pentastar engines have generated no complaints in the field, and have been universally praised by the press for their quiet, smooth operation. But with the new engines due to be used in most of the company’s lineup, and just one factory on-line, some have been concerned about getting the Trenton Pentastar plant to full speed. Chrysler originally planned for three V6 plants, but dropped that number to two; however, they have boosted production to 500,000 units per year with new machines.

One insider wrote that the blocks were under control, with production issues straightened out, but that new, cheaper tools, coupled with the “World Class Manufacturing” program, have reduced crankshaft production.

As Chrysler comes out of Daimler and Cerberus management, there are also issues of skilled trades operating machines (rather than maintaining or repairing them), while outside contractors do normal skilled trade work. This appears to be continuing, as one contractor was dropped from machine maintenance but another outside contractor took their place.

The end result is apparently not lower quality but lower production; Chrysler has only weeks before the new minivans, large cars, and midsized cars start production, featuring the new V6.

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