Manufacturing Savvy

Just Like Old Times at Chrysler

Well at least in terms of the number of shifts that the Belvidere, Ill. Assembly Plant (BVP) is running.

Back in March 2008 the plant ran three shifts with about 3,600 employees.

On Feb. 2 the company announced it would add 1,800 jobs to bring back that third shift.

Of course times have changed and the plant will produce the new Dodge Dart, using a new philosophy.

The new philosophy, called the 3-2-120 schedule, utilizes three crews, working four 10-hour straight-time days per week for a total of 120 hours of production time.

Belvidere is the first facility to build a Chrysler Group vehicle featuring a Fiat-derived architecture, adapted from Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

It must feel great to be back up to speed.

Chrysler has been steadily adding jobs since it was reborn in 2009 and is up to 4,000 new jobs.

And the good news keeps pouring is as the company's was able to report a net income of $183 million for full-year 2011, a dramatic improvement from its loss of $652 million in 2010.

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