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Chrysler to add 1,600 workers at Illinois plant


January 27, 2012



Chrysler Group LLC will announce next week it will hire more than 1,600 workers to an Illinois assembly plant, signaling the start of a hiring blitz that promises to add thousands of workers to the auto maker's plants over the next three years.

Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is expected to make the announcement during a visit to the auto maker's Belvidere assembly plant Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter. The plant will manufacture the 2013 Dodge Dart compact car alongside the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, which are being updated for the 2013 model year.

The additional crew of workers starts in July, and hiring has already begun, those people said. Workers will be paid the auto maker's new hire rate of $15.78 an hour. Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson declined to comment.

The job expansion will be the first in a series of new hiring announcements that the auto maker is expected to make to meet growing demand for its cars and trucks. These jobs are in addition to hiring planned for its Jefferson North plant in Detroit and a Toledo, Ohio, assembly complex on the move.

"We have to put in more than one shift in a variety of plants," Marchionne said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal late last year. "If we're going to move up to producing 2.4 million cars, I need to make them somewhere. I mean I can't do it with the existing shift pattern. It's not as if I'm turning on more plants. I don't have any."

Marchionne's plan for Chrysler ultimately has the auto maker producing about 2.8 million new cars and trucks in 2014, outstripping the company's current manufacturing capacity. Chrysler has room to add workers to the Toledo complex along with factories in Sterling Heights and Warren, Mich., and Brampton, Ontario.

To keep costs in check, Chrysler intends to introduce a new working schedule known as "3-2-120." Under the system, three crews of employees on two shifts work four ten-hour days, or 120 hours.

"The benefit to the company is that we can run the plant more hours without the use of overtime, and for the employees, they will now get more days during the year," Tinson said.


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Feb 2, 2012

Sergio Marchionne, Chairman & CEO, Chrysler Group LLC announces 1,800 new jobs and confirms addition of a third shift for the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, IL.
 

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Chrysler closes applications; received four applications for every opening

02/13/2012



Chrysler Group LLC received about 7,500 applications for 1,800 new jobs at its Belvidere assembly plant.

Company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said the company is no longer taking applications. The first round of hires started working at the more than 5 million-square-foot plant in late January.

Chrysler began taking applications and hiring in early January. At first, the company confirmed it was hiring 400 to 500 workers to fill out its two shifts as it prepared to launch the Dodge Dart, a compact sedan

Then on Feb. 2, during a celebration for the Dodge Dart, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the company was going to add 1,800 jobs to a payroll that has already swelled to 2,700. Workers in Belvidere also assemble the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

When all of the workers are trained and working in the third quarter, the plant's employee total will reach an all-time high and Chrysler will be the largest employer in Boone, Winnebago, Ogle and Stephenson counties.
 
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