Belvidere Assembly Plant

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Belvidere Assembly Plant
Built 1965
Location Belvidere, Illinois, United States
Coordinates 42°14′10″N 88°52′16″W / 42.236°N 88.871°W / 42.236; -88.871
Industry Automotive
Products Jeep Cherokee (2017)
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 7 July 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 47-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 10 November 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]

Tomasz Gebka is the current plant manager.

In 2009 the future of the plant was uncertain.[11] Haig Stoddard, a Global Insight analyst, cited the plant as one of three plants that had been considered in a plan to close one plant.[12]

In October 2010, it was announced that $600 million was to be invested into the Belvidere Assembly Plant in preparation for 2012-model-year vehicles to be built there. [13]

In December 2011 it was announced that the Belvidere Assembly plant would be building the Dodge Dart (PF), 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.[14]

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.[15]

Current products (model years)[edit]

Past products (model years)[edit]

Some of the past models made at the plant included:

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 2 September 2016. 
  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. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d Smith, Jack, Building cars, building teams (page 10), Plant Engineering, 1 December 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Belvidere workers not part of short-lived UAW strike[permanent dead link], Associated Press / Businessrockford, 11 October 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ Chrysler cuts ‘will be a big letdown’[permanent dead link], Rockford Register Star, 3 January 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2009.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Belvidere Chrysler plant staying open, but cutting jobs". WREX - Channel 13. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Barr, Alice (4 September 2009). "Second Shift Returning to Belvidere Chrysler". WIFR - Channel 23. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Belvidere-built Chrysler products need global buying spree[permanent dead link] By Alex Gary, 12 February 2010 Rockford Register Star[dead link]
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Terlep, Sharon; Linebaugh, Kate; Bennett, Jeff (7 February 2009). "More Car Plants at Risk". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Chrysler Group LLC Announces $600 million Investment in its Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant" (Press release). Chrysler Group. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Smith, Jack. "Building cars, building teams". Plant Engineering, 1 December 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2009.[dead link]
  15. ^ "History and Facts about Belvidere, IL". Ci.belvidere.il.us. Archived from the original on 11 February 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  16. ^ Mateja, Jim (9 April 2006). "It's official: Patriot coming to Belvidere". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 April 2015.