The Detroit Chassis plant was launched in 1998 as a purpose built lean assembly plant for rolling chassis. It is designed with flexible assembly lines that accommodate multiple chassis with varying lot sizes and line rates. Additional chassis and sub-assemblies can be launched with minimum lead time and tooling cost.
- 218,000 square feet on 33 acres,
- 90,000 units/year capacity
- Rail and Truck transport capability
- CMM capability for 42 feet vehicles
- Multi spindle interlock tooling
- EOL Rolls and NGS testing
- Class A body panel installations
Detroit Chassis has produced its largest-volume vehicle, the Ford F-53 motor home chassis since 1999, with production starting just eleven months after work began on the facility. The plant has also produced the chassis for the Ford Explorer-based U.S. Postal Service vehicle, a school bus and the Think Neighbor electric low-speed vehicle.
At its inception, the facility was designed to incorporate the latest lean strategies for material handling and assembly. No effort was spared to challenge, critique and evolve the design to optimize niche and low volume build capabilities.
Detroit Chassis Lynch Road facility’s (DCP) origins extend back to 1985 when entrepreneurs Michael and Carlton Guthrie acquired the small metal stamping operations of Uptilt, Inc. and TruMark, Inc. in Lansing, Michigan. As the businesses grew from simple bracketry to complex stamped and welded chassis and bumper assemblies, the Guthries vertically and horizontically integrated their resources by acquiring Trumark Metal Products of Warren, Michigan in 1991, and Trumark Steel and Processing Corporation of Erie, Michigan in 1994.
By 2000, however, the Guthries had sold their interest in these basic commodity businesses to focus on technology and value-added services. In 1998, they won a major purchase order from Ford Motor Company for rolling chassis assembly and established Trumack Assembly LLC in Detroit’s Renaissance Zone. They also formed a partnership with Mackie Automotive Holdings US (Mackie), a Toronto-based logistics provider.
In October 2001, Michael and Carlton Guthrie bought out Mackie’s interest in TruMack to become the company’s sole owners and changed the name to Detroit Chassis. In January 2002, the Guthries formed SPECTRA, which today is the parent company of Detroit Chassis LLC, and Detroit Custom Chassis.
DCP was expressly designed to offer a low-cost alternative to existing Mexico assembly capacity for Ford Motor Company’s F-53 motor home chassis. Operations at the Detroit Chassis plant began in 1999 saving millions of dollars in assembly and shipping costs for the customer.
In 1999-2000, Detroit Chassis commenced production of a rolling chassis for the Ford Explorer-based U.S. Postal Service delivery truck.
In 2000-2001, Detroit Chassis produced the electric-powered Think Neighbor, its first complete vehicle encompassing body, chassis and trim operations.
In 2005, Detroit Custom Chassis was created to provide full vehicle custom up-fits such as suspension drive train conversion services, custom vehicle modification, Shipping Aids Recycling Program and AC Hose installation.
Today Detroit Chassis, along with Detroit Custom Chassis LLC is capable of designing full vehicles and other complex assemblies. The plant has gained state-of-the-art expertise in building subassemblies, ranging from front structures to axles and steering columns, and offers this distinct capability to manufacturers of all products requiring the building of complex sub-units.
In 2015, Detroit Chassis Avon Plant launched and its Associates assemble rear axles, tires & wheels for the Ford Motor Company Medium-duty trucks F650/750. This facility has state-of-the-art error proofing, 55,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space. It builds to broadcast and ships to Ford Motor Company’s OHAP.
For current and future customers, the companies comprising SPECTRA present a complete lineup of services for the design and production of complex products.