AUBURN HILLS, MI
– The Chrysler Group has revealed that manufacturing operations at its Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant will be expanded to include a third work shift beginning in July 2006. The new shift will add approximately 1,000 new jobs to the 2,650-employee facility. While some of the jobs will be filled with current Chrysler Group employees from other facilities, a majority of the jobs are expected to be filled with new hires.The Belvidere plant started building the all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber in Jan. 2006 and will begin production of the all-new Jeep Compass this month. Production of the all-new 2007 Jeep Patriot will begin later this year. The plant is flexible enough to vary the production mix between the three products anywhere from 0 to 100 percent of each model. Belvidere, the former Dodge Neon plant, added its second shift in March. The employees are working under a new organizational model designed to foster greater creativity and innovation by providing greater support and authority to assembly line operators. The plant was retooled to build the three new models with a $419 million investment in late 2005.