March 14, 2006

Chrysler Group adds second shift to build Dodge Caliber

Auburn Hills, Michigan – The Chrysler Group launched a second production shift yesterday at its Belvidere, Illinois Assembly Plant. The additional shift will double the plant’s capacity; production of the all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber began in January 2006, and the all-new 2007 Jeep Compass will begin production in May.

The addition of the second shift will raise total employment at the facility from 1,650 workers to 2,650. All of the new jobs were filled with current Chrysler Group employees, many of whom were idled. More than 360 were idled Belvidere plant employees who are now back at work.

The Belvidere facility was the first in the Chrysler Group’s system to launch a new flexible manufacturing process, which can build derivative models on a single production line, as low as a lot size of one. The new process replaces hard tooling with flexible robotics that can automatically change its own tooling to build more than one model.

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