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GM OKLAHOMA CITY PLANT WINS J.D. POWER QUALITY AWARD

 GM OKLAHOMA CITY PLANT WINS J.D. POWER QUALITY AWARD
 OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees of the General


Motors Midsize Automotive Division Oklahoma City Assembly Plant officially brought home the gold today as the producer of vehicles with the fewest owner-reported problems in North America.
 In a celebration marking the achievement, General Motors President John F. Smith Jr. told employees, "You've shown the world that the Buick Century and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera can stand with the best quality vehicles in the world."
 "I'm proud of your efforts that have led to today's celebration," Smith said. "You've shown what can be accomplished by applying what you've learned. You've demonstrated that a personal commitment to quality -- and teamwork -- can achieve outstanding results."
 GM Chairman Robert C. Stempel, also speaking at the celebration, said that the competition now sees Oklahoma City as the plant to beat.
 "But there is no time to relax and think that the job is finished. We must keep improving quality -- continuously," Stempel said. "Continuous improvement is the key to success."
 Capping the day's events, J. David Power III, president of J.D. Power and Associates, presented the Gold Plant Quality Award to the plant's more than 4,000 employees. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the assembly plant ranking is determined by consumer ratings of 1992 models during the first 90 days of ownership.
 "We're proud to be ranked first out of 46 car assembly plants in North America included in the study," said Plant Manager Barry Herr. "We set our sights on that target and accomplished our goal by focusing all our efforts on customer satisfaction and applying discipline to the process."
 The results of owner surveys from both vehicles built at the plant (the Century and Cutlass Ciera) ranked the assembly plant No. 1 over any other assembly plant in the U.S., Canada or Mexico.
 But the plant is only part of the story -- the vehicle that goes into assembly is the result of the entire product team's efforts. It includes representatives from engineering, financial, materials, Buick, Oldsmobile, suppliers, and many more.
 To advance design for manufacturability and assembly, engineers and suppliers actually carry out assembly operations on the line. This helps them to understand how hard -- or how easy -- a task can be, depending on the design of a particular component.
 Through the application of GM/UAW Quality Network/Synchronous workshops, employees learn to eliminate waste and make the most effective use of people, machines, materials and methods.
 Lean production, for example, was once the exclusive province of Japanese manufacturers. Today, it is an integral part of the Oklahoma City production process.
 The plant even carries out its own customer evaluations, placing customer "visor surveys" in the driver-side sun visor for owners to return to the plant.
 "A successful product demonstrates teamwork, disciplined processes and collaboration between engineering and manufacturing," said Arvin F. Mueller, GM vice president and general manager of the Midsize Automotive Division. When these elements of car production come together in the right way, the payoffs are evident:
 -- The Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and the Buick Century were ranked among the top 10 best models in 1992 by the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study.
 -- The 1992 Cutlass Ciera was also ranked "Best In Price Class," $12,001 to $17,000, by the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study.
 -- The 1992 Cutlass Ciera was awarded "Domestic Safe Car of the Year" by PREVENTION magazine. The award is based on government and private insurer safety evaluation. The Century earned the same award in 1991.
 -- In the midsize market segment, the 1992 Cutlass Ciera and Century shared first place in EPA fuel-economy ratings in both four-cylinder and six-cylinder categories. In the midsize wagon segment, both cars ranked first in fuel economy in the six-cylinder segment.
 -- The Century is Buick's best-selling car line. The Cutlass Ciera is Oldsmobile's best-selling car line.
 -0- 8/20/92
 /CONTACT: Margaret Holmes of General Motors, 313-492-1920/
 (GM) CO: General Motors Corporation; J.D. Power and Associates ST: Oklahoma IN: AUT SU:


ML -- DE024 -- 1779 08/20/92 14:29 EDT
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Date:Aug 20, 1992
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