• Oct 5, 2007
Having learned from the sales bank debacle of the past, Chrysler is now throttling back production to draw down inventory levels. Sales of the PM/MK platform cars – Dodge Caliber and Jeep ComPatriot twins – are down roughly 23 percent compared to last year. Part of that is due to a move away from fleet sales, but whatever the cause, the 3,400 workers at the Belvidere assembly plant will get a two week vacation starting Monday. It's a great time of year to take a trip, enjoy some of the last warm days before winter tightens its grip, or just get out and rake the yard. By the time the line starts back up again, the backlog of unsold vehicles will be reduced, and the looming catastrophe of UAW contract talks will be looming.

[Source: Auto News - sub req.]



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  • 12 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      It sounds like most of us are agreed.
      The Compass does not make sense.
      A crossover (tall wagon really) with the Jeep name?

      The Patriot is at least somewhat capable and does return to that Cherokee esque styling but I'd not shed a tear if they were both yanked off the market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Caliber makes sense, the Patriot makes sense (as it's actually off-road capable), the Compass does not.

      What I find amusing is the the domestic brands move 'away' from fleet sales. Who's going to supply the fleets with cars now? Foreign automakers. So not only will GM/Chrysler's sales be hurt by this move away, foreign brands will gain sales and it probably still won't hurt their 'image' which is the reason why the 'big 3' are moving away from them.

      Irony at it's best.

      Message to GM/Chrysler/Ford, keep the fleet sales, just make better products quicker and for less money and with better warranties (see Hyundai)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Maybe with more import makes in the rental fleets getting the crap kicked out of them, with the attendant squeaks and rattles, and mechanical faults developing, folks will call them all the names they call the domestic makes?

        I've driven plenty of Corolli on rental, and if anything they show just as much damage as any domestic from being in rental fleets.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Do the workers still get paid for these 2 weeks?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Thanks to the United Auto Workers contract, Belvidere workers still will receive much of their pay during the shutdown. But the more than 2,000 workers at suppliers near Chrysler and the truckers who deliver parts to the plant likely will feel the effects either through corresponding shutdowns or reduced work hours.

        Check out rrstar.com, the local newspaper under the Buisness section.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Drove a '07 Patriot a few weeks ago. Looked at the 5-spd and the CVT. Both were 4x4 (not trail rated version). One was pretty stripped down, the other was the $25K option model.

      I liked the way it handled, did a few U turns on the road, parking etc. Felt solid. It's not a speed demon, but I had no trouble merging into 65+ MPH traffic. The CVT is a little odd, but it performed very well (there were some software updates to counter some of the complaints I'd heard online).

      For the price, it really felt like a value (you can easily get one for under $20K with some good options). If the inventory is stacking up it might be a good time to go back and see if they will deal a bit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Leave it to the new LLC!

      These guys never learn.

      I am a supplier to this plant & these guys have worked OT on Saturdays (3 shifts) for the past 30-40 weeks. Now they realize they have excess inventory. Why not slow down the OT & run a normal schedule? My guess is that some of the folks making the OT decisions get bonuses or benefit from the double or triple time. Guess what happens when no one minds the store!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Poor Comp-ass. Not even a dirt field can give it "off-road cred." Maybe it's me, but that totally looks photoshopped. The front wheels aren't moving, the rear wheels are "hidden", and it looks like there's no driver. Not to mention a single piece of dirt on that ugly thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chrysler should consider to cancel those cars anyway. They hurt the Jeep and Dodge brand
      • 7 Years Ago
      Two weeks from assembling two of most horrible looking cars is indeed quite the vacation!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, the Patriot makes sence.......the compass doesn't. The Patriot is mildly capible, and kinda makes sence. People really don't use their big SUV's offroad anyway. It's a cute-ute that's mildly capible. It also looks decent as well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      These two vehicles are crap. They should shut the plants for good.