By on July 28, 2009

From WIFR, on the occasion of the reopening of Chrysler’s Belvidere (Illinois) factory. Belvidere is the birthplace of the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass—all winners of TTAC’s Ten Worst award.

“The whole economy’s gonna pick up, once everybody’s back to work and starts making money they’ll be spending money and they’re talking about some overtime and stuff like that so they’re talking about good things ahead. So everybody’s optomistic [sic] and looking forward to the future,” says Belvidere Chrysler worker Ray Battistini.

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22 Comments on “Quote of the Day: Eternal Springs Edition...”


  • avatar
    Seth L

    I agree completely.

    Oh wait, no, I’m losing my job next week.

    I disagree completely.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    And that little bump on the Titanic was just a “thrown propeller blade”.

  • avatar
    twotone

    “future” — what’s that?

    Twotone

  • avatar
    BDB

    Sadly, employment is a lagging indicator. It is usually 6-8 months behind the stock market and the rest of the economy. It is also, sadly again, the one indicator that personally affects most people.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    At least the poor guy doesn’t work for GM.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    I heard that the Caliber is getting a new interior and a number of drivetrain revisions. Hopefully that will bring it up to “somewhat competitive” status.

  • avatar
    Gunit

    Who’s his dealer, I want some.

  • avatar

    I feel sorry for the guy. Unless a miracle happens for those cars. The Caliber, especially, is so incredibly ugly–without any ugly-charm of the sort the Citroen Ami 6 has–it really pushes my mood down slightly whenever i see one. I can’t think of a car I with worse aesthetics. The Aztek is a piker next to the Caliber, and even the Tribeca doesn’t quite look that bad. The Caliber looks like some kids took some sticks and decided to make a car. The tribeca merely looks like the designers got wicked drunk last night and came in with wicked hangovers in the morning.

    Whenever I see a Caliber, I look at the driver, and I wonder, what were they thinking when they bought that ugly thing???

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    Unfortunately there’s no end in sight for this recession we’re in. There are still people out there losing their jobs daily, we’re looking at the extreme possibility of one bill or another passing that will bury us all in taxes, and as soon as there is even the slightest sign of a recovery the price of everything from bread to gas is going to start heading up. We’re going to be in a bind for years to come, I’m afraid. The prosperity and decadence of the past couple of decades is on hold indefinitely.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Whenever I see a Caliber, I look at the driver, and I wonder, what were they thinking when they bought that ugly thing???

    I think James May’s quote about the Chevy Aveo sums it up perfectly. “People don’t buy this car because it’s cheap. They buy it because they haven’t driven anything else.”

    I have to assume that nearly all Caliber drivers just didn’t bother to try any other cars. The Chrysler dealer was the closest, and so they bought that.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    To think he was busily making all the Neons he could a few years ago. Then they got help from our German friends.
    And here we are.
    Thanks so much.
    Citroen, Ugly Charm?? Ha!

  • avatar
    willbodine

    from davekaybsc: ““People don’t buy this car because it’s cheap. They buy it because they haven’t driven anything else.”

    Do any people buy these things? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that didn’t have Enterprise Car Rental plate frames.

  • avatar
    50merc

    David Holzman: “I wonder, what were they thinking when they bought that ugly thing???”

    Like they say in the insurance biz, “life insurance isn’t bought, it’s sold.” And the Dodge dealer somehow found a way to finance the sub-sub-prime customer. I think there are a lot of people who say “how much car will you allow me to buy?” For a while, a lot of houses were being bought that way.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Yes, the economy is bottoming out. No, even when people do have money, they won’t be buying this garbage. Get real, Chrysler; the only things you should even consider making are the Charger/300, the minivans, the Ram, and Wranglers.

  • avatar

    I have to assume that nearly all Caliber drivers just didn’t bother to try any other cars. The Chrysler dealer was the closest, and so they bought that.

    Or, with many people I know, “we’ve always bought Dodge/Ford/GM” so they head for the Dodge dealer and that’s what they can afford.

    John

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    The U.S. has been gutted of high paying jobs in the biggest way in its history, and many people, like this moron autoworker in the article, are talking as if this is a cyclical recession.

    It’s not; it’s structural. The entire structure of the U.S. economy has been permanently changed.

    Can you say service sector economy with Western European levels of unemployment? Can you say following in the footsteps of Britain?

    Things are going to get so much worse than many will recall 2009 with fondness.

    People moving back with their parents, parents moving in with their kids, people driving 15 year old cars…no one is spending anything…restaurants and other discretionary spending outlets are closing left and right…

    This is a precursor to worse times. Bank on it.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I’ve always been a fan of the Belvidere plant (“Brocktoon” as we fans call it), but the day the Caliber warrants overtime production is the day they should fire the industrial manager who schedules the plant.

    The Caliber is a cramped, slow car that doesn’t really hold that much or get great gas mileage, but it compensates for these shortcomings by being ugly and not particularly dependable. Oh, it has speakers that you can take out, so I guess that makes it ok.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Why reopen Belvidere? Government insisted?

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I saw a sparkling new Caliber the other day, drove near it on the highway for a couple of miles, and I am convinced of one thing. Years from now, when people don’t remember exactly when they were built, you’ll have a hard time convincing people that the Caliber was the replacement for the Neon and not vice versa.

  • avatar
    FloorIt

    And people think the new Sebring styling is bad.
    The Dodge & Chrysler minivans have the same back end bumper styling as the Caliber. Too blocky with squared edges look.
    Also their website is kinda slow to respond to selecting menu stuff. When I finally got to photos, surprise!, 1t&C, 0caliber pictures of their Fugly back ends.

  • avatar
    FloorIt

    Sad in a way. So 1700 workers for plants that could have I dunno 10,000 workers.

    Last drove by the Belvedere plants in May 2008, looked deserted. Several big lots were empty. Before that I remember going by there in the late 90’s, only 1 lot being used then, with maybe 300 Neons in it.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I wish this guy were right … then maybe I could count on recovering my capital investments for components in this car … but personally, my mood and outlook jive with that of OhSnapBack…

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