Group LLC plans to restart the second shift at its Belvidere, IL, assembly plant Oct. 5, as it anticipates greater demand for its Dodge Caliber small car.
The move, which will bring back some 850 workers, will hike calendar 2009 Caliber production by 10,000 units.says it will maintain current output levels for the Jeep Compass and Patriot small cross/utility vehicles, also built at the plant.
Earlier, Chrysler announced plans to increase output through the end of the year by 50,000 vehicles by tweaking production schedules at a number of other plants. The extra Caliber output is in addition to that.
“We are taking this action in response to increasing demand for our most fuel-efficient products,” says Michael J. Accavitti, president and CEO-Dodge brand. “However, we are cautious about the continued volatility in the industry and will monitor demand in order to respond to market conditions.”
Chrysler sold 4,039 Calibers in August, up 4.3% from year-ago, according to Ward’s data. In July, 7,814 Calibers were delivered, up 62.6% from prior year.