Chrysler to invest $600 million in Illinois to build Fiat-based compact Dodge

Chrysler Group LLC confirmed today that it will be pumping $600 million in its Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant to support the production of future models in 2012, increasing its investments in U.S. facilities to $2.1 billion since the formation of the new company in June 2009 (nicer way of saying “since it came out of bankruptcy”).

“The investment includes the construction of a 638,000 square-foot body shop as well as the installation of new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. Work on the expansion began this summer and will be completed in 2011,” Chrysler said in a statement.

It is widely known that the investment is being made for production of a new compact Dodge in late 2011. The new compact Dodge will be the first Fiat-based model for Chrysler. The model will be based on the C-Evo platform, which currently underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

The new compact Dodge sedan is designed to get 40 mpg highway and is one of the three targets Fiat must meet before increasing its stake from 25 percent to 35 percent.

– By: Omar Rana