As the public anxiously waits for the release of the 2013 Dodge Dart, Chrysler is prepping behind the scenes for its assembly. Chrysler announced that it will be adding 1800 jobs to its Belvidere facility, 500 of which will be solely dedicated to the Dart’s production. With the addition of the new jobs Chrysler confirmed it will be running a third, more efficient crew.
A normal assembly facility that works on two shifts affords 80 hours a week for production. With the new work schedule Chrysler is able to boost its production by 49 days with its workers actually working 49 less days. Figure that one out. The newly formed crew for production of the 2013 Dodge Dart is expected to be in place by the third quarter of this year. Fiat and Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne believes Belvidere has the perfect combination of dedication and enthusiasm shown by employees and that is why it was chosen to assemble Fiat and Chrysler’s new love-child.
“It was not by chance that we chose Belvidere to make this investment and build the new Dodge Dart,” Marchionne said to employees. “Our decision is evidence of the faith we have in your level of commitment and your passion to deliver great products for our customers. You have been essential in our ability to author a remarkable story of recovery.”
The last time the Belvidere facility ran three shifts was back in March of 2008, when around 3600 employees inhabited the assembly facility. With the recent hirings, Belvidere’s population will increase from 2700 to more than 4500 employees. The new hires mean Chrysler put around 4000 new people on the payroll since it became a new company back in June of 2009.
“This announcement is proof that America’s auto industry is indeed back,” said General Holiefield, Vice President, UAW Chrysler Department in a statement released by Chrysler. “With the continued commitment and hard work of its UAW-represented workers, Chrysler will continue to add more good manufacturing jobs and introduce more industry-leading vehicles, securing the future for the Company and its entire workforce.”
Currently Belvidere is responsible for production of the Jeep Compass and Patriot, but it will also begin building the Dart later this year. In addition to the announcement of new jobs at Belvidere, Marchionne also admitted that the previous investment of $600 million investment for a state-of-the-art body shop has actually crept closer to $700 million. The revised investment includes the installation of new equipment, tools, and other equipment exclusively needed for production of the Dart.
Do you think Chrysler is headed in the right direction with its increased investment and additional work force? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.