Poor sales of the new Dodge Dart have pushed Chrysler to temporarily lay off 325 employees at the Belvidere assembly plant that produces the compact sedans in northern Illinois.
Chrysler Group LLC confirmed the layoffs Monday, hours after releasing February sales figures showing a 37 percent decline for the Dart, the Rockford Register Star reported. The layoffs will last through the rest of the week and affect employees on all of the plant’s three shifts.
Overall sales for the company rose 11 percent last month from February of last year, but the Dart has failed to keep up with long-established competitors in the compact sedan market since its debut in 2012.
In a written statement, Chrysler said the layoffs were necessary to “to balance vehicle supply with current sales demand.”