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CHRYSLER'S NEW SMALL CAR NEON REPRESENTS $500 MILLION INVESTMENT IN ILLINOIS

 BELVIDERE, Ill., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling it "a car for the world," Chrysler Corporation (NYSE: C) Chairman Bob Eaton joined Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and more than 1,000 guests and employees, as the first 1995 model year Dodge and Plymouth Neon rolled off the assembly line today at Chrysler's Belvidere Assembly Plant.
 The all-new small car represents a $1.3 billion investment for Chrysler, and more than $500 million of that was spent on manufacturing facilities in Illinois.
 But the impact of the personality-filled Neon will be felt around the globe, said Eaton. "The Neon was not a 'global' project in the sense that we used expertise from the far side of the Atlantic or Pacific," he said. "To the contrary, we developed the Neon here in America ... we're overwhelmingly sourcing its parts here in America ... and we'll be assembling the Neon right here in Belvidere."
 Eaton added that Neon will be introduced in overseas markets in the spring, just a few months after it goes on sale in the U.S. and Canadian markets.
 Neon represents a "dare to be different" attitude for small cars. It offers a solid opportunity to attract a new generation of buyers. Significantly, the most outstanding characteristics of Neon are all in line with this group's likes and dislikes.
 From its all-new 2.0-liter, 16-valve engine and five-speed transmission; to its standard dual air bags and available anti-lock brakes and integrated child safety seat; to its trend-setting cab- forward architecture; to being the most environmentally sensitive vehicle Chrysler has ever produced, Chrysler expects customers will be delighted by the balance of features found in Neon that are normally associated with large cars.
 Neon is also Chrysler's most significant step in integrating the manufacturing operations into overall development. A representative force of about 90 Belvidere employees worked side by side with members of Chrysler's Small Car Platform Team as early as 1992 to help assemble the very first Neon prototypes.
 And nearly one-third of the plant work force has spent time at the Chrysler Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Mich., working to improve the design and manufacturability of Neon.
 This teamwork paid off, added Eaton. "We've made more than 4,000 changes in both the car and the production process as a direct result of that input."
 As a result, he concluded, Neon is "ready to take on the world."
 -0- 11/10/93
 /CONTACT: Alan Miller, 313-576-8093, or Mike Aberlich, 313-576-8094, both of Chrysler/
 (C)


CO: Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan, Illinois IN: AUT SU: PDT

ML -- DE002 -- 2738 11/10/93 11:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1993
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