Fiat Chrysler’s CEO confirmed production of the popular Jeep Cherokee will move to Belvidere’s Chrysler Assemply Plant, a big boost for the communityf.
“It’s our number one selling vehicle, right now,” said Jose Gonzalez, a sales associate for Jack Wolf Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Belvidere. “We finally have a mid-sized car, SUV, that gets decent gas mileage.”
And now, it’ll be homegrown in the City of Murals. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in Italy Monday that the Cherokee will be produced at the Belvidere Assembly Plant, replacing the Jeep Patriot and Compass. It’s something General Manager John Clark says he’s relieved to hear.
“Anytime they’re going to take something away… everybody is left in limbo,” said Clark.
The company expects the 4,000 Belvidere Chrysler employees to stay put, as the Cherokee production effort will require the plant’s full staff.
“We’re ecstatic,” said Growth Dimensions Executive Director Jarid Funderburg. “We’re very, very excited. We couldn’t be happier.”
Funderburg says Belvidere has always had Chrysler pride and hopes the production of the popular Cherokee adds to that.
“They do a tremendous job with the cars that they do assemble, and building the Cherokee is going to make everybody that much more pumped to work out there,” he added.
“You can just tell [customers] it’s made right down the road,” said Gonzalez.