And, a bit of good news from Chrysler — Dodge Caliber production increases

(September 3, 2009) Chrysler Group will start a second shift in Belvidere, Ill., to make more Dodge Calibers, the company said this week.

The second shift, which will add 850 workers at the plant starting Oct. 5, will enable the company to make an additional 10,000 Calibers this year. The Caliber was a popular Chrysler purchase in the cash-for-clunkers program, trade paper Automotive News reported.

Production of the other two models produced in Belvidere, the Jeep Compass and Patriot, will be maintained at current levels.

“We are taking this action in response to increasing demand for our most fuel-efficient products,” said Michael Accavitti, CEO of the Dodge brand. “However, we are cautious about the continued volatility in the industry and will monitor demand in order to respond to market conditions.”

Earlier this week, the company added about 50,000 units to its 2009 production schedule at other plants. The company declined to break down increases for each model.