Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Leaders Not Surprised Plant to Draw New Product

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Leaders Not Surprised Plant to Draw New Product

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

It's no surprise that Oklahoma City's General Motors Corp. assembly plant has been chosen to lead development of a new product, the plant manager and top union official said Friday.

The plant won the J.D. Powers and Associates award for top quality assembly plant in North America in 1992 and was in the top three two other times. This is an indication of the quality which has always been built at the plant, said Plant Manager Barry Herr and Steve Featherston, president of Local 1999 of the United Auto Workers union.

Quality always has been a way of working at the plant, Featherston said during a press conference for foreign press drawn to Oklahoma City for the GM stockholders annual meeting.

"Our people understand that quality is like a ticket to get into the game," Featherston said. "If you have quality, you get to compete, but you've got to have the quality to be successful.

"Plants which don't have quality are not even in the game."

When the plant began operations in 1978_the first car rolled off the assembly line in April 1979_many GM employees were transferred here from other locations, but since then, local people have become predominate in the workforce, Herr said.

"Now, no one even thinks about that. They all are part of the same team," he said.

Plant employees are committed to quality and customer satisfaction, the pair said.

"You are going to see (during a plant tour) people who are interested in the customer, people who for years have been committed to doing what the customer wanted, to focus on the customer every day," Herr said.

That attitude has been with the plant from the beginning, there never was a time when "we made a change and started doing this," Featherston said.

"We have always felt that what we do must be involved with customer satisfaction," he said. "When the customer buys a car, he doesn't care what it cost to build it or how much labor went into making that car.

"Quality is what the customer drives home. If the customer lays down the price for a new car, the customer is only interested in what kind of quality he is getting. …

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