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Supplier partnerships saved $74 million before production of the Dodge Durango

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First generation Dodge Durango release material from Chrysler

Chrysler Corporation's commitment to establishing and maintaining positiverelationships with its suppliers continues to pay big dividends. For Dodge Durango, suppliers participating in Chrysler's innovative Supplier Cost Reduction Effort (SCORE) program identified $74 million in cost savingswhich were realized well before the first 1998 Dodge Durango went into production.

"The momentum of the SCORE program, both internally at Chryslerand with our suppliers, continues to be phenomenal," said Thomas T. Stallkamp, Chrysler's Executive Vice President of Procurement & Supplyand General Manager of Minivan Operations. "Through our SCORE program, 1998 Dodge Durango suppliers submitted a total of 357 proposals, which translated into millions of dollars in savings. We're constantly working with our suppliersas teammates to discover new ways to be more efficient while mutually achievingcost reductions."

Established by the automaker in 1989, SCORE challenges suppliers in Chrysler'sExtended Enterprise to continuously seek out and identify opportunitiesto lower cost in the vehicle manufacturing process.

Cumulatively, Chrysler has achieved $3.7 billion in cost savings throughSCORE since its inception.

Suppliers contributing to the $74 million in cost savings for the DodgeDurango include the Becker Group, based in Sterling Heights, Mich., whichsubmitted two SCORE proposals that contributed approximately $6 millionto the cost reduction efforts. A full-service supplier in both design andmanufacturing, Becker was able to cut production costs by improving their plant efficiency. Becker's first proposal involved reducing part complexityand commonizing parts in order to improve the manufacturing process. Thesecond involved improving the tooling designs and taking advantage of advanced technologies to make the end product more cost efficient.

"By improving both the manufacturing processes, as well as the toolingdesigns, Becker was able to realize production cost savings and pass a percentagealong to Chrysler," said Melissa Zimmerman-Coleman, Buyer, Interior Trim and Safety, Procurement & Supply for Chrysler. "It's an excellent example of the mutual benefits of the SCORE program."

U.S. Steel, a division of the USX Corporation in Pittsburgh, saved almost$470,000 with their SCORE proposal to reduce the surface area of the wheelhouseon the 1998 Dodge Durango.

By utilizing complex computer simulations prior to the start of production,U.S. Steel was able to reduce the surface area of the wheelhouse withoutcompromising the quality of the part. This reduced the amount of raw material necessary to produce the wheelhouse, resulting in lower costs.

"U.S. Steel was able to identify the cost savings on wheelhouseproduction because of Chryser''s early supplier involvement," said Cosimo Simonetta, Senior Buyer, Procurement & Supply for Chrysler. "Not only did their SCORE proposal result in lower costs, but by reducing theamount of steel used to make the part, it made the vehicle lighter, which improves fuel efficiency."

Through SCORE, suppliers are encouraged to submit proposals designedto reduce costs in a variety of areas including design, manufacturing, logistics,sourcing and administrative transactions. Chrysler continuously monitors and measures SCORE proposals submitted in the following areas: Interior,Exterior, Chassis, Power Train, Electrical and Body-In-White.

All told, Chrysler realized $1.2 billion in cost savings through itsSCORE campaign during the 1997 model year. The total represents an increase over last year's $1 billion in cost savings through SCORE.

"The SCORE program continues to be unique because cost savings areshared with suppliers," said Stallkamp. "We are pursuing quality,efficiency and affordability without eroding our supplier's profit margins."

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