Toronto, Ontario -- In 1964, the Beatles conquered North America, the Toronto Maple Leafs won their third consecutive Stanley Cup and, what is now known as the Etobicoke Casting Plant (ECP) in Etobicoke, Ont., was purchased by Chrysler Corporation to manufacture pistons and castings for Chrysler-produced vehicles. On August 24, 2014, ECP celebrated its 50th year of producing die cast parts for Chrysler Group LLC.
“Our team’s vision is to be the premier world-class manufacturer of structural and component die castings through innovation, ingenuity, commitment, dependability and leadership,” said Jerry Peterson, Plant Manager – Etobicoke Casting Plant, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are proud to celebrate 50 years of superior craftsmanship from our dedicated employees, which has led to quality-produced vehicles and strong worldwide sales. We look forward to building on that foundation for continued future success.”
Originally built in 1942 by the Canadian government to support the World War II effort, the plant began operations as Alcan Aluminum to produce sand and permanent moulds for military aircraft applications. Twenty-two years later, it would be acquired by the Chrysler Corporation with a major expansion added in 1965.
In 1998, further expansion to the facility was completed to accommodate a new piston cast process and, specifically, the addition of tooling and equipment for the high-pressure die casting department.
In 2010, the Company announced a $27.2 million investment for new tooling to produce front and rear crossmembers for the Dodge Dart, Jeep® Cherokee and the all-new Chrysler 200, as well as future vehicles. This new technology investment has also improved the plant’s quality, testing and inspection processes. The plant employs over 500 people.
Today, the nearly 300,000-square-foot plant also produces aluminum die castings, such as adapters, powertrain mounts, transfer cases, stators and pistons over three shifts, for a variety of Chrysler Group vehicles that are assembled at assembly plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The plant’s central location just outside of Toronto plays an integral part in both inbound and outbound deliveries from suppliers as well as Chrysler Group’s manufacturing locations.
ECP has also dedicated itself to achieving an international standard certification in quality (ISO-9001 certification) and environmental awareness (ISO-14001 certification).
In 2009, ECP, along with Chrysler Group’s other manufacturing facilities, began implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a methodology that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. ECP encourages its employees to identify and offer suggestions on how to reduce waste and losses throughout the plant. The plant has realized significant cost savings as a result of the suggestions provided by both hourly and salaried personnel.
In addition to WCM improvements, the employees of ECP have currently undertaken a major initiative to bring the facility’s structure back to its basic condition. In the last year, a significant amount of time, effort, elbow grease, paint and forward-thinking has gone into supporting this plant-wide initiative. As a result, a safe, clean, bright and lean workplace has emerged.
The ECP team is united under the theme, “Casting the Vision for Tomorrow,” positioning the plant well for future success as an integral part of Chrysler Group’s innovative manufacturing operations.