BELVIDERE – February 2, 2012. One day after laying out the Illinois Jobs Agenda for 2012 in his State of the State address, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Chrysler Group LLC is ramping up production at its Belvidere plant to help build its next generation of vehicles. The company has invested $700 million to retool the plant and will begin production of the new Dodge Dart in the second quarter of 2012. In fall 2010, Governor Quinn announced a business investment package for the company that is supporting the creation of up to 1,800 new jobs and has been instrumental to Chrysler’s decision to expand in Illinois.
“The auto industry is essential to growing our economy. Illinois automakers and their suppliers are thriving today because we have helped meet their needs,” Governor Quinn said. “By providing companies like Chrysler with the tools they need, we’re helping them not only succeed but thrive.”
As part of its investment, Chrysler opened a 638,000 square-foot body shop to support production of the Dart, in addition to installing new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. The new body shop increased the size of the Belvidere assembly plant to 4.8 million square feet. The plant also includes a 330,000-square-foot stamping plant. The Belvidere facility currently produces the Jeep® Compass and Jeep Patriot.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the state’s business investment package. The package consists of EDGE tax credits, Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job-training funds that will help enhance the skills of the company’s workforce, and Large Business Development Program funds for capital improvements. Chrysler will also benefit from being located in an Enterprise Zone.
“The Rock River Valley has emerged as a strong leader in the transportation industry, and Chrysler has undoubtedly played a major role in building that reputation,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “Today we’re pleased to stand beside them as they chart a course towards the future that includes their continued commitment to Illinois.”
Illinois added more than 52,000 jobs in 2011, and has added nearly 100,000 jobs since 2010. Since January 2010, Illinois has added almost 20,000 manufacturing jobs.
For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.