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Chrysler may hire 3,000 - add shifts in Michigan and Illinois

According to a top UAW official, Chrysler may add more than 3,000 jobs in Michigan and Illinois to accommodate added production shifts at three facilities building some of their most popular models.

While Chrysler has not issued a statement on the topic, Bloomberg has reported that General Holiefield, the UAW vice president who oversees the Chrysler side of the autoworkers union stated that the company is considering adding an extra shift at the Jefferson North (MI), Sterling Heights (MI) and Belvedere (IL) plants to help meet the growing demand for the vehicles made at those plants.

Jefferson North is responsible for the 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, both of which have been very popular through the first four months of 2011. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been a major mover for Chrysler and with the new, more fuel efficient Pentastar V6 and the powerful Hemi V8 – the Grand Cherokee is more powerful and efficient than ever. The Durango has seem booming numbers since being introduced late last year and on top of that, Chrysler is expected to produce SUVs for the European market – possibly badged as a Maserati.

Sterling Heights builds the new Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger and the pair of mid-sized sedans has also been very popular over the past few months. The Chrysler 200 has been heavily shown in recent marketing campaigns, including a record-setting Super Bowl commercial featuring hip hop legend and Detroit native Eminem. Chrysler expects to see both of these models continue to grow as fuel prices continue to rise so it wouldn’t be any surprise to see a second shift needed.

The last shift that could see an added shift and 1,000 new jobs is the Belvedere production facility in Illinois. This plant makes the Jeep Compass, the Jeep Patriot and the Dodge Caliber. While these vehicles have routinely been underachievers in past years, the revisions to the new Compass to give it a more “Grand Cherokee-like” look and it has paid off, as sales of that compact sport ute have grown 80% this year.

Chrysler may be considering this but they likely won’t give any official word until they feel that the demand for those vehicles is high enough to warrant adding the third shift.

Source: Bloomberg

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