Just a bit of good news to report as we approach Labor Day weekend.
Chrysler Group LLC will return the second production shift at the Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant to boost Dodge Caliber production by more than 10,000 units. The hatchbacks are bound for both North American and international markets through the remainder of the year.
The second shift, which is effective Oct. 5, 2009, is expected to add about 850 employees at the Belvidere facility. The 10,000-unit production uptick of the 2009 Caliber is on top of the more than 50,000-unit production increase Chrysler announced yesterday across other Chrysler Group plants. The plants contributing to the 50,000 unit production increase include Belvidere, Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly plant, Sterling Heights (MI) Assembly Plant, Warren (MI) Truck, Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant, and the Saltillo Assembly Truck and Toluca Assembly plants, both in Mexico. In addition, eight Chrysler Group plants are now building 2010 models.
“We are taking this action in response to increasing demand for our most fuel-efficient products,” said Michael J. Accavitti, President and CEO, Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “However, we are cautious about the continued volatility in the industry and will monitor demand in order to respond to market conditions."
Chrysler group will maintain planned production levels of the similarly fuel-efficient Jeep® Compass and Patriot also built at Belvidere.
It’s been a news-fueled week for the strong selling five-door C-segment Caliber. Dodge announced an all-new interior for the 2010 Caliber (link to release) and a highly refined 2.2-liter Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine for international markets. Last month’s U.S. Caliber sales also were up compared with August 2008.