Chrysler Group - Belvidere, Illinois

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In January 2005, the Chrysler Group, a unit of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s fifth-largest auto manufacturer, announced receipt of almost $36 million from an Illinois state investment package, the result of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns economic development strategy. This leveraged a $419-million major retooling of the Chrysler Group’s nearly 40-year-old Belvidere Assembly Plant. The retooling has allowed the Chrysler Group to add a second shift at the plant and to create more than 1,500 new jobs across the region (1,000 at the plant alone). In February 2006, the Chrysler Group celebrated commencement of production of its all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber at the Belvidere Assembly Plant. Along with the new vehicle, the plant is also launching an innovative flexible manufacturing process that will provide the company the ability to make up to three models and test-build a fourth model on one assembly line. Plans are in place to launch production at the Belvidere Assembly Plant of another new model, the 2007 Jeep Compass.

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