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Belvidere Plant adds second shift, boosts Caliber production

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler has announced it will add shift at the Belvidere, Illinois Assembly Plant to make an additional 10,000 Dodge Calibers this year. Production of the Jeep Compass and Patriot will not be increased.

The increase will add 850 workers to the plant’s employee rolls and will restore inventories of the Caliber, which had shrunk to a 15-day supply because of consumer demand during the Cash for Clunkers program.

“We are taking this action in response to increasing demand for our most fuel-efficient products,” said Michael Accavitti, CEO for the Dodge brand. “However, we are cautious about the continued volatility in the industry and will monitor demand in order to respond to market conditions.”

Chrysler has now added about 50,000 units to its 2009 production schedule.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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