Frequently Asked Questions

The Detroit Chassis Plant

1. Who owns Detroit Chassis LLC?
Detroit Chassis is a privately held company, wholly owned by Michael and Carlton Guthrie.

2. How long has Detroit Chassis been in operation?
Work on the Detroit Chassis plant began in 1998 and the first chassis rolled off the line in 1999.

3. Where is Detroit Chassis located?
The modern Detroit Chassis plant, opened in 1999, is situated in Detroit's Renaissance Zone at 6501 Lynch Road between Mt. Elliott and Van Dyke, about two miles north of I-94 on Detroit's east side.

4. What is the size and capacity of your plant?
The plant encompasses 218,000 square feet on 33 acres. It is capable of turning out as many as 90,000 rolling chassis per year on its highly flexible production line.

5. Which manufacturers use the assemblies produced by Detroit Chassis?
Detroit Chassis supplies chassis to 13 companies that build vehicle bodies: Coachman Industries Georgie Boy Damon Corp Fleetwood Motor Home Forest River Gulf Stream Coach Monaco Coach Corp. National R.V. Newmar Corp. Thor-Four Winds International Tiffin Motor Homes Triple E Recreation Vehicles Winnebago Industries This Web site includes an interactive map displaying the locations of these customers.

6. How many employees do you have?
A lean operation inherently requires fluctuations in staffing to maintain efficiencies and quality. The Detroit Chassis employee count ranges to more than 300, with some 50 engineers and 60 design stations.

7. How are your relations with the UAW?
Detroit Chassis' plant was founded as a United Auto Workers manufacturing operation; and the UAW has been a productive, positive, highly capable force in the success of the company's performance. Customers have consistently praised the work force's ability to meet and exceed their expectations.

Products and Processes

1. What products does Detroit Chassis assemble?
Detroit Chassis assembles the following products: Ford F53 class A motor home chassis Ford TH!NK LEV Niche vehicles and sub-assemblies

2. How many vehicles per year do you produce?
Since operations began in 1999, Detroit Chassis has assembled more than one billion dollars worth of vehicles. The plant produces about 12,000 F53 chassis per year and, simultaneously, another 7,000 units of the Postal Service vehicle. Detroit Chassis plant maintains significant capacity for new projects for which the auto industry seeks proven, high-performance facilities.

3. What quality assurance programs do you have in place?
Detroit Chassis has continued to develop its torque monitoring system that is designed to ensure high capability and control through scheduled torque verification and validation as required by our Control Plans.

4. How long do you need to configure your line to begin assembling a new product?
Detroit Chassis can be ready for production after six weeks with existing tooling and after up to twelve weeks for specialized tooling projects, all based on the complexity of the product.

5. What types of subassemblies are you experienced in building?
Complex wheel-and-axle assemblies, engine assemblies, steering columns, front-end structures, and tire-and-wheel assemblies.

6. Can you produce subassemblies alone for my manufacturing operation?
Detroit Chassis is skilled at creating sophisticated subassemblies and can adapt its agile, flexible operations to turn out subassemblies alone, as well as full rolling chassis and entire vehicles.

7. Can you help me design or engineer a vehicle?
Yes, Detroit Chassis employs some of the auto industry's most talented designers and engineers, professionals who can develop innovative vehicle designs as well as lean and efficient manufacturing processes.

8. In what other ways can you help me launch a new vehicle?
As part of SPECTRA, Detroit Chassis, with its sister companies Magnys and Vsim, provides concept to customer design, engineering, assembly and delivery services. We can assist manufacturers with a complete range of vehicle and process design plans, engineering, computer simulations, sequencing strategy, kitting operations and assembly services.

Contact and Community

1. How can I arrange for a tour of the plant?
Please contact Linda Ratliff, Customer/Community Relations Group Leader and Chaplain at (313) 743-2357. We will be happy to work with representatives of manufacturing companies to schedule a private plant tour during daily operations.

2. How can I contact someone to discuss how my company can use Detroit Chassis' capabilities?
Please contact Charles Kier, Vice President – Strategic Business Direction at (517) 449-7991 or email us at

3. How can I apply for a job at Detroit Chassis?
Please send an email to: for a listing of current job openings.

4. How can I enlist Detroit Chassis' support for my community group or social service organization?
Please contact Linda Ratliff, Customer/Community Relations Group Leader and Chaplain at (313) 743-2357 or e-mail us at

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