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All Belvidere employees offered buyouts; plant to stay open

by David Zatz on

Detroit News just broke the story: Chrysler is offering buyouts to all 2,600 employees at the Belvidere assembly plant in Illinois, along Route 80. Chrysler’s Ed Saenz said all 2,400 union and 200 administrative employees would be offered voluntary separation packages. The plant, which makes the closely related Dodge Caliber, Jeep Patriot, and Jeep Compass and had previously built the Neon, employed over 3,700 people as the year dawned, but cutting the third shift eliminated over 1,000 positions. Saenz reportedly said that the plant would remain open, with two shifts.

Some analysts have suggested that Chrysler could move production of one or two of the Belvidere triplets to Sterling Heights, another under-utilized plant which makes the Sebring and Avenger.

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