To increase the sales of Chrysler Group’s popular vehicles, over 3,000 workers will be hired and production shifts will be added at plants in Michigan and Illinois in the upcoming months, according to a top UAW official.
General Holiefield, the UAW vice president in charge of Chrysler, said last Tuesday that plants in Detroit and Sterling Heights, Mich., and Belvidere, Ill. will receive three more shifts, with each creating about 1,000 jobs. Holiefield said that the decision depends on the volume and the demand.
According to CEO Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler's global sales will increase by 18% through April. In the first quarter, the company posted a net profit of $116 million, marking its return to profitability since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009.
Marchionne is aiming to refinance its U.S. and Canadian government debt this quarter, permitting Fiat S.p.A. to raise its ownership stake to 46% from 30%. Chrysler has yet to comment on this report about the added jobs and shifts.
In Chrysler's Web site, the company stated that its Michigan and Illinois factories each have two shifts and have a total of 7,000 hourly workers. Autodata Corp. said that the Detroit plant rolls out the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, whose U.S. sales were increased by 86% through April.
Meanwhile, the Sterling Heights plant builds the Dodge Avenger and the Chrysler 200 sedan. The Dodge Caliber small car and Jeep Compass and Patriot sport-utility vehicles are built at the Belvidere plant.