Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger interiors win SPE award

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE, Troy, Mich., USA) Automotive Div. announced on Nov. 1 that the interiors of the 2011 model year (MY) Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger mid-size sedans, which were developed and launched as part of vehicle facelifts in just over a year, won Chrysler Group LLC and its interiors supplier, Faurecia, the 2011 Vehicle Engineering Team Award (VETA) from the SPE’s 41st-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries.

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The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE, Troy, Mich., USA) Automotive Div. announced on Nov. 1 that the interiors of the 2011 model year (MY) Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger mid-size sedans, which were developed and launched as part of vehicle facelifts in just over a year, won Chrysler Group LLC and its interiors supplier, Faurecia, the 2011 Vehicle Engineering Team Award (VETA) from the SPE’s 41st-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. James N. Lyijynen, system responsible – Interior Cockpit, System & Component Engineering at Chrysler Group LLC, will accept the award on behalf of all OEM and supplier team members during SPE’s annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on Nov. 9, 2011, at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

All new interiors for both the 2011 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 sedans were developed in a record 54 week time period, just over 12 months from surface freeze to start of production (SOP). The previous-generation Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger interiors were developed on a 30-month time line. Partly as a result of the 2008 global economic downturn and the ownership change of Chrysler Group LLC in 2009, the new company was at risk of not having a competitive sedan in the D segment, the second-largest segment in the automotive market. To remain competitive, Chrysler Group needed a solution that could be brought to market rapidly.

Not only did the team face a compressed development cycle, but other challenges also presented themselves, including ongoing product changes (e.g. late theme and feature/content changes); no plan for a design/validation test phase or prototype vehicles; short lead times to build (hard) production tooling and limited tool-trial runs planned before launch; as well as unknown model year phase out/phase timing at the start of the program.

For more information about the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition and Gala, visit the SPE Automotive Division website at speautomotive.com/inno, or call +1 248-244-8993. 

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