Tour held on Saturday August 5, 2023
This is Chrysler's "Muscle Car" Plant where every Dodge Challenger, Charger and 300 has been built. The last of these final and "Last Call" models roll off the line on December 22, 2023, and this tour report commemorates the end of this era, and the special vehicles that many of our members own now...with many more to be taken delivery of very soon!
This Viper Club of Ontario VIP private club tour was incredibly unique as Stellantis provided it during a full production day...and for the first time ever, they allowed guest vehicles to be displayed in the front entrance and inside the plant! We thank Stellantis and Enio Parete, our Windsor Area Director, for this very special opportunity!
All 5 Viper generations were displayed, including the Gen IV ACR, Gen V TA, and Gen V ACR-Extreme models that set production car track records that were parked together!
We had a pre-tour meeting where we learned many details of the plant and production.
plant built in 1986 by American Motors Corporaton, acquired by Chrysler in 1987
2.9 million square foot of plant area spread over 269 acres
2,266 hourly and 177 salaried employees
Chrysler Concorde/LHS/300M, Dodge Intrepid and Eagle Visions built originally
then rear wheel drive Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, Charger and Challengers
777 produced each day with 2 shifts
320 Challengers built per day
vehicles produced using 9 engines and 9 transmissions
2800-3000 vehicles ready to ship at any given time
30,000 available build combinations with options making many 1 of 1’s
watched a safety video, and were given vests, goggles and arm protectors
Our group of 60+ were divided into 6 groups, each led by very knowledgeable guides.
Large coils of steel are cut into various size “blanks” and fed into 6 gigantic presses. Various stamping dies are ready to be interchanged to form chassis, body panels and other components, with some being stamped multiple times using different dies.
Welding-(Body in white)
Stamped panels, hoods, deck lids and other components come together in various stations where they are welded together to form larger components. The welds are tested for integrity.
High precision coordinate measuring machines, laser radar measurement machine, and quality assurance fixtures that are machined from giant chunks of aluminum are used to ensure panels are within .025 mm. A fully assembled car can be measured using non-contact measuring equipment to assure high quality.
A selection of Last Call cars on display in this area.
Processes include application of phosphate, e-coat (primer) dipped, sprayed powder coating (anti-chip) colour, and clear coating. We missed seeing inside the paint shop.
This center (behind these over-achieving Vipers) is used for meetings, town halls, ect.
Engine accessories including alternator, drive belts, AC, and power steering, along with the transmission, are installed on the fully assembled engines.
Front cradle supports the engine, suspension and brakes that are added to it on a pallet. Driveshaft, brake & fuel lines, rear suspension, & wheels are added on the chassis pallet.
Body & Chassis Assembly
Painted bodies arrive on a conveyer, raised onto an elevated conveyer, move along into position where they pause for a moment, the chassis is lifted from below, and the union is made with bolts automatically connecting the two.
Fluids filled (glycol coolant and A/C refrigerant), electrical testing, panel alignment checked and adjusted if necessary. Vehicle is started and moved under it’s own power for the first time. It's a religious experience-imagine all the things that could go wrong! Nearly 2500 people have to do everything right...parts trucks, pickers, all assembly, electrical and computer components, for the car to start!
Roll Station, Alignment/Headlight Aim & Certification Line
All systems and driving functions are checked. Quality checks to every car are performed in 14 different stations and include...
BSR Track (buzz, squeak and rattle)
Audit Bay where a sample of cars are even more extensively checked.
Fit and finish tests and road test.
Demon Booth where 100% of Demons are even more extensively tested
Just outside the door adjacent to the Demon Booth we studied a couple of Demon 170's.
As we drove display cars out we passed through the parking lots where several hundred of these vehicles were ready to be delivered to dealers and their excited customers!
Stellantis really rolled out the red carpet for the Viper Club of Ontario. They designed, stamped and presented us with a commemorative SRT Hellcat coin! It's sad to see the 20 year run of muscle cars end... but we hear there's lots of exciting new product coming!
The Viper Club of Ontario has a treasured history with Chrysler going back to 1997. Many members have visited the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant where we've seen the Viper production line where our cars were built, and Plymouth Prowlers before that for some. We have lasting and cherished relationships and fond memories with Team Viper members. And we were so pleased to meet our Brampton tour guides and others who produce some of our other dream cars, including the Demon 170's and other "Last Calls"!
Our club's loyalty to the FCA brand's Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat, and to our FCA dealer sponsors, continues under the FCA merger that created Stellantis in January 2021. Opportunities like this Chrysler Brampton Plant VIP tour will continue, with our planned club VIP tour of the private Chrysler Museum tentatively scheduled for Saturday September 14, 2024. And our FCA-Canada preferred purchase program also continues!
We hope other tours of their new and refurbished plants in Windsor and Brampton where the next generation of vehicles will be built will follow, with those plants expected to come on line in late 2025. Here's a great article discussing Brampton's past and future!
Numerous Stellantis brands top or rank highly in the J D Power studies. Stellantis is the 3rd largest automobile manufacturer in the world, posting strong growth, and is among the most profitable. They are also working on programs and intitiatives that will benefit and support those of us who own their past models as they age. More on this exciting news in the January 2024 issue of The VCO Times newsletter!
President, Viper Club of Ontario
Published on December 21, 2023