Making Cars in Belvidere

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FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies.

FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands, as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products.

The company is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

Its presence in Boone County dates back to the mid-1960s. Construction of the Belvidere Assembly Plant began in 1964 and the first car was produced on July 7, 1965. Currently, there are more than 4,500 employees at the Belvidere plant.

“Boone County is important to FCA US because it is committed to delivering services that will help attract investment, allowing businesses to flourish,” said Mike Bennett, manager, federal and state government affairs for FCA US. “It is what has allowed us to invest more than $1 billion into the Belvidere Assembly Plant since 2009.”

Over the years, some of the company’s most successful products have been produced at the Belvidere Assembly Plant, including the Chrysler New Yorker and Dodge Neon. That legacy will continue in 2017 with the launch of the Jeep Cherokee.

In 2016, FCA US announced plans to invest $350 million in Belvidere Assembly to retool it to produce the Jeep Cherokee. The move to Belvidere will help the company expand the Jeep brand and respond to a market shift toward SUVs. The Jeep Cherokee is an award-winning product that offers best-in-class capability and up to 31 miles-per-gallon on the highway.

Belvidere was awarded bronze status for its results in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM) in 2016. WCM is a methodology that focuses on eliminating waste, increasing productivity and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. The year before, the new Belvidere body shop was awarded a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Green Building System certification for meeting the highest environmental standards.

“Equally important to our operations and the 4,500 people that work there is that Boone County is a welcoming place to raise a family,” Bennett said. “World-class amenities combined with rural charm make Boone County a place FCA US is proud to have called home for more than 50 years.” w