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Chrysler Group's WCM Academy Takes Top Honors in Manufacturing Leadership Award Competition

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AUBURN HILLS, MI--May 16, 2013: Chrysler Group LLC's World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Academy received top honors in the 2013 Manufacturing Leadership 100 (ML100) Awards, being named a High Achiever in the New Workforce category at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit award gala in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, May 15.

The High Achiever award recognizes the Company for receiving the highest score in the category, which identifies companies that involve education and training, knowledge management and transfer, and collaboration with educational institutions as integral to the advancement of manufacturing. Mauro Pino, Chrysler Group's Head of World Class Manufacturing, and General Holiefield, UAW Vice President and Director of the Chrysler Department, accepted the award on behalf of the more than 45,000 Chrysler Group manufacturing employees who have embraced the World Class Manufacturing philosophy.

"We are honored that the WCM Academy has received such high praise from industry leaders who understand that the path to long-term success for any company is through its people," said Pino. "The human element is at the center of WCM, which has become a way of life for Chrysler Group workers. We would not be where we are today in transforming our Company and our culture without the cooperation and support of the UAW and CAW; it's a team effort."

In its ninth year, the ML100 Awards honor those shaping the future of global manufacturing. The awards target projects and individual manufacturing leaders that demonstrate achievement across a wide variety of domains including sustainability, operational excellence, workforce development, innovation, entrepreneurship and industry advocacy.

"The implementation of WCM has been critical to our ability to return Chrysler to profitability and secure more than 8,000 new hourly positions in the U.S. since June 2009," said Holiefield. "The Chrysler Group workforce has embraced WCM, overcome challenges and changed the culture within our facilities. The Academy is accelerating this progress by providing opportunities for those on the shop floor to share know-how and develop critical skills that will continue to move the Company forward."

Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council judged hundreds of nominations across 11 categories. Seven of the ML100 categories celebrate outstanding projects undertaken and completed by a manufacturing company while the four remaining categories recognize the achievements of individual manufacturing executives. Judges look for projects or individuals that set themselves apart from the competition by delivering clear and compelling value, and other tangible results. Chrysler Group's WCM Academy was one of seven to be recognized in the New Workforce category.

The WCM Academy opened its doors in January 2012 and occupies about 25,000-square-feet of the UAW-Chrysler Technology Training Center in Warren, Mich. The Academy was created to accelerate WCM implementation by combining classroom and laboratory sessions, with the emphasis on hands-on exercises in problem solving. With a mission to transfer WCM "know-how," the Academy trained more than 3,400 workers from across the Company's North American manufacturing facilities in its first year, far exceeding its goals. Those participating in Academy classes apply their learnings and begin making improvements as soon as they return to their plants, delivering real and measurable benefits for the Company.

First implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009, WCM is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants. WCM has become the driving force behind the improvements in all of Chrysler Group's manufacturing plants with four facilities achieving Bronze status, a significant milestone in the WCM process, in 2012.