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CHRYSLER'S BELVIDERE PLANT PUSHES UP NEON PRODUCTION LAUNCH

 HIGHLAND PARK, Mich., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler Corporation (NYSE: C) has announced that its Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant will start production on the all-new 1995 model-year Dodge and Plymouth Neon small cars on Monday, Nov. 1 -- 21 days ahead of schedule.
 The first Neon will roll out of the plant on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
 Chrysler said Belvidere's production launch of the Neon was pushed ahead because it is the most fully tested, production-ready vehicle the company has ever brought to the market. Early involvement by manufacturing in Neon's development helped speed the launch, according to Frank J. Ewasyshyn, general manager - Large and Small Car Platform Assembly.
 "We didn't wait for the engineers to hand us the baton," said Ewasyshyn. "The Small Car Platform Team made manufacturing a part of the team from the start. That meant an earlier start in developing our assembly processes, resulting in an opportunity to move up the launch."
 About 1,500 hourly employees will start assembling the all-new small cars on Nov. 1.
 In addition, Ewasyshyn announced that the plant will launch its second production shift with about 1,400 additional hourly employees on Monday, Nov. 29, instead of in May 1994 as originally planned.
 "We were able to bring in second shift employees earlier than planned, so that they could learn from first shift employees," he said. "In theory that will mean a faster ramp-up of production, while maintaining a high level of quality because o a more effective learning curve."
 First shift production employees started pilot build of Neon in late August. Second shift production employees will work with first shift employees as part of their hands-on training beginning Nov. 22.
 The Neon, which has a total investment of $1.3 billion, is the company's first sub-compact car since production of the Omni/Horizon ended in February 1990. Belvidere has the capacity to produce about 278,000 units over a full model year on a two-shift production basis.
 -0- 10/4/93
 /CONTACT: Alan Miller, 313-576-8093, or Mike Aberlich, 313-576-8094, both of Chrysler/
 (C)


CO: Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SB -- DE022 -- 8264 10/04/93 10:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 4, 1993
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