CHICAGO – June 27, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by executives of Chrysler Group LLC to unveil the new 2013 Dodge Dart, just off its Illinois production line. Nearly 300 car dealers from across the Midwest drove the new Dart straight into dealerships today during a “drive-away” event held at Soldier Field. Governor Quinn test drove the Dart with Dodge CEO Reid Bigland.
“The auto industry is alive and well in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “The next generation of Dodge Darts is being assembled at our Belvidere plant and since 2008, Chrysler has gone from 200 jobs to more than 4,000 jobs this summer. We want that growth to continue.”
Chrysler invested nearly $700 million to retool its Belvidere plant and ramp up production to build the new Dodge Dart. As part of its investment, Chrysler opened a 638,000 square-foot body shop to support production of the Dart and installed 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.
Chrysler Group LLC's Belvidere Assembly Plant was recognized as a winner of an Economic Development in Illinois Award (Edie). The annual award is given jointly by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Development Council to recognize significant economic development projects finished in the prior year throughout Illinois. The Edies were formally presented at an event last week at the Illinois Chamber's annual meeting in Chicago.
In fall 2010, Governor Quinn made a targeted investment which bolstered Chrysler’s expansion in Illinois and enabled the automaker to create an additional 1,800 new jobs. The state investment consists of Economic Development for a Growing Economy (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 is also located in an Enterprise Zone.
Illinois has added 136,300 private sector jobs since January 2010. Since January 2010, Illinois has added 40,700 manufacturing jobs.
For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.