Belvidere Assembly Plant
History and facilities
The factory was completed in 1965 in the south part of Belvidere, Illinois adjacent to U.S. Route 20. The factory is designated the Belvidere Assembly Plant and is adjacent to the Chrysler operated Belvidere Satellite Stamping Plant. The stamping plant produces sheet metal parts for the production line. The factory has 3,300,000 square feet (310,000 m2) of floor space over 280 acres (1.13 km2) of land. The factory had produced 5.9 million vehicles by the end of the 1993 model year.
In 2006, the factory became the first Chrysler plant to use a body shop consisting entirely of robotics. There are 780 robots in the body shop can make necessary tool changes automatically, within a 45-second cycle time. The factory is capable of building 3 models of vehicles as well as a test-building a fourth vehicle.
The Simulation (SIM) Room comprises 38,000 square feet (3,500 m2) of the factory and is used to create a miniature production process and to test the layout of job stations, and creating standard work instructions. A two foot grid is painted on the floor to measure dimensions and employee walk-time during simulated production and efficiency modeling.
In 1985 there were 4,000 employees working at the plant. At the start of the Neon car production, there were 3,250 hourly and 250 salaried employees working at the factory as of November 10, 1993.
There were 2,650 employees working at the factory at the start of 2007 model year Jeep Compass production, up from 1,700 in 2005 when one shift of employees was in place. However, the third shift, which was first instituted in 2006, was discontinued in 2008. The plant was idled during the Chrysler's bankruptcy filing and became an one-shift operation from July 2009. A 'temporary' second shift was added by October 2009.
Production of vehicles dropped from 263,521 in 2008 to 84,609 in 2009.
The workforce is represented by the United Auto Workers, Local 1268 and 1761. There have been two UAW-ordered strikes in the plant's history. In 1973, there was a 9 day strike over the right to turn down overtime, pension funding, and health and safety measures. In 1981, there was a 9 day strike to receive pay parity with Ford and GM workers. Chrysler proposed eliminating several job classifications so workers could be required to perform more than one task.
Kurt Kavajecz is the plant manager.
In October 2010, it was announced that $600 million is to be invested into the Belvidere Assembly Plant in preparation for 2012-model-year vehicles to be built there.  In December 2011 it was announced that the Belvidere Assembly plant would be building the Dodge Dart, based on a Fiat design.
In 2005, the factory was the recipient of Plant Engineering's Top Plant Award for efficient turnover in the changeover from Neon production to Caliber production.
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's (ACOEM) Corporate Health Achievement Award awarded to the Chrysler Group after a tour of Belvidere Assembly Plant.
National Safety Council 2004 Green Cross for Safety.
Union Pacific provides rail freight service to the plant.
- Chrysler Group Plant Fact Sheet. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- Chrysler Corporation Factories. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
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- Chrysler cuts ‘will be a big letdown’, Rockford Register Star, January 3, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
- http://www.wrex.com/Global/story.asp?S=10394254 Belvidere Chrysler plant staying open, but cutting jobs May 27, 2009
- http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/57069962.html Second Shift Returning to Belvidere Chrysler by Alice Barr Spet 3, 2009
- http://www.rrstar.com/carousel/x1328937235/Sales-of-Belvidere-built-Chrysler-products-need-to-improve Belvidere-built Chrysler products need global buying spree By Alex Gary Feb 12, 2010 Rockford Register Star
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- Smith, Jack, Building cars, building teams, Plant Engineering, December 1, 2005. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
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