Belvidere Assembly Plant

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Belvidere Assembly Plant
Built 1965
Location Belvidere, Illinois, United States
Industry Automotive
Products
Area 5,300,000 sq ft (490,000 m2) on 280 acres (1.1 km2)
Address
  • 3000 W Chrysler Dr.
  • Belvidere, IL 61008

The Belvidere Assembly Plant is a Chrysler factory in Belvidere, Illinois, United States that assembles vehicles. The factory opened in 1965.

History and facilities[edit]

The factory was built in 1964 and 1965 in the south part of Belvidere, Illinois, adjacent to U.S. Route 20. The first production line vehicle was made on July 7, 1965.[1]

The Belvidere Assembly Plant is adjacent to the Chrysler operated Belvidere Satellite Stamping Plant. The stamping plant produces sheet metal parts for the production line.[2] The factory has 5,300,000 square feet (490,000 m2) of floor space over 280 acres (1.1 km2) of land. The factory had produced 5.9 million vehicles by the end of the 1993 model year.[3]

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 three models of vehicles as well as a test-building a fourth vehicle.[4]

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.[5]

Labor[edit]

In 1985 there were 4,000 employees working at the plant.[6] 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.[3]

There were 2,650 employees working at the factory at the start of 2007 model year Jeep Compass production,[4] up from 1,700 in 2005 when one shift of employees was in place.[5] However, the third shift, which was first instituted in 2006, was discontinued in 2008.[7] The plant was idled during the Chrysler's bankruptcy filing and became a one-shift operation from July 2009.[8] A 'temporary' second shift was added by October 2009.[9]

Production of vehicles dropped from 263,521 in 2008 to 84,609 in 2009.[10]

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 nine-day strike over the right to turn down overtime, pension funding, and health and safety measures. In 1981, there was a nine-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.[6]

Eric Schimal is the plant manager.[11]

In 2009 the future of the plant was uncertain.[12] Haig Stoddard, a Global Insight analyst, cited the plant as one of three plants that was being considered in a plan to close one plant.[13]

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. [14]

In December 2011 it was announced that the Belvidere Assembly plant would be building the Dodge Dart, based on a Fiat design.

Awards[edit]

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.[15]

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.[5]

National Safety Council 2004 Green Cross for Safety.[5]

Union Pacific provides rail freight service to the plant.[16]

Past products (model years)[edit]

Some of the past models made at the plant included:

Current products (model years)[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Belvidere Assembly & Stamping Plant". American Auto Worker. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Chrysler Group Plant Fact Sheet". Plant Union Data. Archived from the original on 24 August 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Chrysler factories, offices, and testing grounds, 1925-2015". Allpar. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Gov. Blagojevich Celebrates Launch of the Dodge Caliber at the Chrysler Group's Newly Retooled Belvidere Assembly Plant" (Press release). State of Illinois. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d Smith, Jack, Building cars, building teams (page 10), Plant Engineering, December 1, 2005. Retrieved 2009-02-01.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Belvidere workers not part of short-lived UAW strike, Associated Press / Businessrockford, October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-01.[dead link]
  7. ^ Chrysler cuts ‘will be a big letdown’, Rockford Register Star, January 3, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-07.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Belvidere Chrysler plant staying open, but cutting jobs". WREX - Chanel 13. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Barr, Alice (4 September 2009). "Second Shift Returning to Belvidere Chrysler". WIFR - Chanel 23. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Belvidere-built Chrysler products need global buying spree By Alex Gary Feb 12, 2010 Rockford Register Star[dead link]
  11. ^ "Building cars, building teams". AllBusiness.com. Retrieved 2009-10-02. [dead link]
  12. ^ Merrick, Amy; Thurow, Roger (7 February 2009). "Mayor of Illinois City Hopes Against Hope for U.S. Funds". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Terlep, Sharon; Linebaugh, Kate; Bennett, Jeff (7 February 2009). "The Wall Street Journal". Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Chrysler Group LLC Announces $600 million Investment in its Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant" (Press release). Chrysler Group. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Smith, Jack, Building cars, building teams, Plant Engineering, December 1, 2005. Retrieved 2009-02-01.[dead link]
  16. ^ "History and Facts about Belvidere, IL". Ci.belvidere.il.us. Retrieved 2009-10-02. [dead link]
  17. ^ Mateja, Jim (9 April 2006). "It's official: Patriot coming to Belvidere". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 April 2015.