Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Chrysler to close plant in Illinois for 2 weeks

October 4, 2007

Chrysler LLC will shut down its Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant for two weeks beginning Monday.

The Belvidere facility, which employs 3,815 people, makes the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

Chrysler spokeswoman Michele Tinson attributed the shutdown to adjusting "production to tough market conditions."

(JOSHUA LOTT/Associated Press)

Chrysler is shutting its Belvidere, Ill., plant, which employs 3,815 people. The plant makes the Dodge Caliber, at left, as well as the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

On Tuesday, the company said Compass sales in September were down 19% and Caliber sales were off 20% compared with the same month last year.

In a conference call with analysts and journalists Tuesday, Darryl Jackson, Chrysler vice president of U.S. sales, called slowing sales of the Caliber, Compass and Patriot "a direct result of our fleet reduction."

Chrysler reduced its overall fleet sales by more than 20% in September compared with September 2006, Jackson said. He declined to give a specific number.

Chrysler's U.S. sales dropped 5.4% in September compared with last year.

Tinson said the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance in Dundee, which makes small engines, would be down next week.

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