Chrysler to invest $419 million in its Belvidere plant
The Belvidere investment, which will include $36 million in state funding, will be used to overhaul the plant's body shop as well as modify the paint shop and final assembly area. All changes to the facility will enable greater manufacturing flexibility, while simultaneously preparing for future launches of as-yet-unannounced new products, the company said. Production is targeted to begin in early 2006. The body shop will be retooled, utilizing a combination of new high-tech robotics and existing plant equipment. New processes will also broaden the plant's capabilities in the types of vehicles that could be manufactured at the facility. The paint shop and final assembly areas will undergo technology upgrades in order to achieve new levels of efficiency and quality. The Belvidere Assembly Plant, located in Illinois, US, currently employs more than 2,100 employees and produces the Dodge Neon for North America and the Chrysler Neon for international markets. The Neon is sold in 25 countries. "We are reaffirming our commitment to this facility and community by bringing back up to 1,000 jobs and investing $419 million, so that future production reaches new levels of operational excellence and produces world-class, quality vehicles," commented Ewasyshyn.