Advanced two-mode hybrid system available in Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen
Intelligent implementation of new manufacturing processes manages quality, cost
Two-mode hybrid technology provides fuel-saving benefits of a full-hybrid system, including electric-only operation
Auburn Hills, Mich., Aug 22, 2008 - Chrysler LLC's Hybrid Electric
Vehicles (HEVs) began rolling off the assembly line this week at its
Newark (Delaware) Assembly Plant. Chrysler is offering the two-mode
hybrid powertrain on both vehicles built at the plant, Dodge Durango
and Chrysler Aspen.
In order to smoothly add one of the automotive industry's most
advanced technologies into their established build process,
cross-functional launch teams conducted highly accurate, cost-effective
computer simulation of new assembly processes. Similar efforts were
conducted at tooling suppliers.
"The implementation of this new manufacturing process was done
intelligently, with both quality and cost in mind." said Joe Ozdowy,
Plant Manager of Newark Assembly. "I'd like to congratulate and thank
the team for their dedication while bringing these important new
products to market to help satisfy the changing needs of our Dodge and
"The members of UAW Local 1183 continue to prove that they have the
expertise, the experience, the training and the professionalism to
successfully accomplish the most demanding and complex work," said
Larry Dixon, President of UAW Local 1183. "This demonstration of
excellence is something the men and women of UAW 1183 and UAW 1212
should be proud of."
The production of early pilot vehicles was done on the plant's
assembly line which helped to root out anomalies early in the
pre-production process, helping to ensure a higher quality launch.
Production of vehicles with the hybrid powertrain differs in several
ways from production of those with conventional powertrains. New
processes were implemented to accommodate HEV production, including a
unique powertrain assembly process, and ergonomic-assist systems to aid
in new functions, such as HEV battery installation.
There are several unique components associated with HEV production that are installed at the plant, including:
Torque power inverter module (TPIM)
Electric air conditioning
Auxiliary power module
High-voltage cables (AC and DC)
Hydro-electric power steering pump
Hybrid gate way module
Dodge Durango was the leader in its segment for initial quality,
according to J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Initial Quality StudySM.
With the advent of HEV production, a new series of error-proofing
processes was put in place to ensure continued quality excellence.
"We are proud of the highly skilled and dedicated employees at
Chrysler's Newark plant," Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner said. "The
employees at Newark Assembly continue to work hard to ensure the
success of this new product line, and we are looking forward to these
new hybrid vehicles being available to the public."
The Advanced Two-mode Hybrid System
Chrysler's LLC's advanced, state-of-the-art two-mode full hybrid
system – developed in partnership with General Motors, Daimler and The
BMW Group – integrates proven automatic-transmission technology with a
patented hybrid-electric drive system to deliver the world's first
two-mode full hybrid.
As a result of low- and high-speed electrically variable
transmission (EVT) modes, the system is defined as a "two-mode hybrid."
In addition, the sophisticated fuel-saving system incorporates four
fixed-gear ratios for high efficiency and power-handling capabilities.
During the two EVT modes, the system can use the electric motors to
improve fuel economy, acceleration, and for regenerative braking to
utilize energy that would normally be lost during braking or
deceleration. The energy is stored in the batteries for later use.
The system's two modes are optimized for city and highway driving.
In the first mode – at low speed and with light loads – the vehicle can operate in three ways:
The two-mode hybrid provides all of the fuel-saving benefits of a
full-hybrid system, including electric-only operation. In this mode,
the engine is "shut off," with the vehicle moving under electric-only
power at low speed. The result is a significant reduction in fuel
consumption in heavy stop-and-go traffic.
The second mode is used primarily at highway speeds. In addition to
electric assist, the second mode provides full power from engine when
conditions demand it, such as when passing, pulling a trailer or
climbing a steep grade.
Pricing for the full-size 4x4 sport-utility hybrid electric vehicles
is nearly $8,000 below the competition. The manufacturer's suggested
retail price (MSRP) for the new 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI® Hybrid is
$45,340, including $800 for destination. The MSRP for the new 2009
Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid is $45,570, including $800 for destination.
Additionally, customers are expected to receive an estimated tax credit