Chrysler Group will boost production of the 2013 Dodge Dart quickly at a plant in Belvidere, Ill., generating at least 1,800 additional jobs even before the first model has been built, the automaker has revealed. In a ceremony with local and state officials at the facility, Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne disclosed that the vehicle manufacturer will shell out an additional $100 million in the factory's body shop, bringing recent investments there to a total of $700 million.
Marchionne commented that it was "not by chance" that they chose Belvidere to make the investment and assemble the new Dodge Dart. He further stated that their decision is "evidence of the faith" that they have in the plant employees' level of commitment and passion to provide great products for customers. He also told the employees that they have been "essential" in the company's ability to "author a remarkable story of recovery."
Currently, Chrysler has 2,500 employees in its production line at the Illinois facility and a nearby stamping factory. Around 500 of the new workers are required for the production of Dart, while the rest are needed for the plant to meet increased demand for two other automobiles, the company disclosed. The facility outside Chicago also manufactures the Jeep Patriot and Compass. The production of the Dart will commence in spring. The Belvidere facility produced the Dodge Caliber until December. It will convert to the automaker's controversial 3/2/120 production schedule.