Quality Designed Into All-New 2005 Dodge Magnum
The Dodge Magnum exemplifies Chrysler Group’s commitment to quality in the design and engineering of exciting new products.
The full range of design and engineering capabilities of DaimlerChrysler were applied to the development of the new rear-wheel drive sports tourer with the eye-catching high-beltline design. Magnum will continue the dramatic improvements in quality produced by the Chrysler Group over the past decade.
Magnum is the first vehicle completely designed and engineered under the Chrysler Development System (CDS), the comprehensive, coordinated and disciplined product creation process that improves quality and speed to market while reducing costs and encouraging innovation in new products. CDS emphasizes systems engineering and up-front planning and design to avoid time-consuming and costly changes during the later phases of the product development cycle. With CDS, all product and process planning is completed and fully integrated before production tooling begins.
“Our quality efforts begin with CDS. That is where we build quality in to each new product that we bring to market,” said Stephen Walukas, Vice President – Corporate Quality, DaimlerChrysler.
Implementation of the CDS process has contributed to steady improvement in quality in Chrysler Group products over the past decade. Warranty costs have dropped 50 percent since 1996, including a 30 percent decline in costs in just the past three years.
Continuous improvements in quality have also been reflected in independent assessments: Chrysler Group has posted 13 consecutive years of continuous improvement in the J.D. Power & Associates Initial Quality Survey of new car customers.
“Our goal is to bring our quality to the level of the best in class manufacturers by 2007,” said Walukas.
These improvements in quality are demonstrated in the 7-Year/70,000-Mile Powertrain Warranty on the Magnum and other Chrysler Group products.
Development of the Magnum involved the work of 700 engineers and the world-class testing facilities at the Chrysler Technology Center (CTC) in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Engineers logged nearly 6 million miles of customer equivalent driving and experience on the vehicle, including trailer-towing tests in the Rocky Mountains, air conditioning validation in the summer heat of the Florida Keys, punishing drives through Death Valley at more than 120 degrees F. and a -43 degrees F. stint in Manitoba, Canada.
“We logged miles through every extreme condition on the globe to make sure we could deliver on our promise of the highest quality,” said Burke Brown, Chief Engineer – Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum.
Magnum was one of the first vehicles to benefit from the new $36 million Aero-Acoustic Wind Tunnel at CTC, completed in the summer of 2002. Engineers could test full-size clay models in half a day, enabling them to analyze many different designs.
The wind tunnel enables engineers to test not only the aerodynamics of the vehicle design, but also the internal and external wind noise.