5.3 Some Longer Essays

Below are some longer essays on a variety of subjects; some Neon-specific and some not.  All are well-written and useful explanantions of common questions or specific issues that have been collected from a variety of sources.  Read on and learn...
5.3.1 A discussion of engine power, and the theory behind shifting.
"Greetings to all who love torque and horsepower,

First, a clarification: torque is no more real than power.  The DOHC puts out 133 ft-lb of ground-pounding torque, but I've seen some older Neons that are leaking torque and you have to avoid driving behind them because the torque, once leaked, is slippery.  Don't bother picking it up and adding it to your engine as it degrades quickly and will take you out of Stock class.  Consider torque and power as concepts used to describe how things interact to produce movement and how "energy" (another concept) is transferred.

Both torque and power can be observed "directly".  Think of slowing a free-spinning tire with your hand.  Feel the tug on your palm and the tension in your arm?  That's a measure of torque, the torque the tire experiences as a result of your palm slowing it down.  Feel the heat build up from friction?  That's a measure of power.

Incidentally, water brake dynamometers get a direct measurement of power by measuring the increase in the temperature of water flowing past a propeller spun by the engine under test.  You can solve for torque if you know engine RPM.


I'd *like* to think that torque is an intuitively easier concept to understand.  If that were true, though, then more people would understand the relationship between torque, horsepower, and vehicle acceleration.  In reality, none of it is intuitive.  If it were, Newton wouldn't be considered the Really Great Guy that he is.

The classic mistake is to conclude that the fastest way down, let's say, a 1/4 mile drag strip is to keep the engine RPM at the torque peak (or as close as possible).  The technique is usually stated as "shift just after the torque peak", or "shift N RPM above the torque peak so you are N RPM below the torque peak in the next gear when you finish the shift".

Unfortunately, *engine* torque does not tell you the full story.  What matters is the torque *delivered to the tires*, including the effects of the transmission.  We all know a car does not accelerate as hard in second gear at peak torque RPM as it does in first gear.  The transmission amplifies or multiplies the torque coming from the engine by a factor equal to the gear ratio.  So to determine how much the car is accelerating at a particular instant, you have to know both the torque output of the engine as well as the gear ratio.

To figure out your shift points knowing only torque, generate tables of transmission output torque vs. RPM for each gear.  To get transmission output torque, multiply the engine torque by the gear ratio.  You are simply comparing gear to gear, so the final drive ratio can be ignored.  You may also need to know the relationship between RPM in one gear and RPM in another gear (which is RPM * (gear2ratio / gear1ratio) at any particular vehicle speed.)  Then it's easy to see what shift points to choose to maximize your transmission output torque at all times.

Here's an example for the DOHC motor w/ std.  5spd.  Before you flame, understand that I do not have an accurate torque curve for this motor.  I'm estimating visually from the curve printed in the '99 brochure, which is seriously flawed (it makes a lot more sense if the torque curve is shifted to the right 1000 RPM).  I get:

Engine     Transmission output torque (ft-lb):
       Torque      1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
 RPM  (ft-lb)     3.54    2.13    1.36    1.03    0.72  <- gear ratio
----    -----     ----    ----    ----    ----    ----
1000       50      177     107      68      52      36
1500       65      230     138      88      67      47
2000       80      283     170     109      82      58
2500       92      326     196     125      95      66
3000      104      368     222     141     107      75
3500      114      404     243     155     117      82
4000      120      425     256     163     124      86
4500      125      443     266     170     129      90
5000      130      460     277     177     134      94
5500      133      471     283     181     137      96
6000      130      460     277     177     134      94
6500      122      432     260     166     126      88
7000      110      389     234     150     113      79

(note: peak torque is at 5500 RPM, peak horsepower is at 6500 RPM)

Without graphing, there's something immediately apparent: in any gear, at 7000 RPM, the transmission torque output is always higher than at any RPM in the next gear up.  What this means is, for this car:

    Shift at the redline, not at the torque peak!

Walk through an example.  You're hammering down the track in 1st gear.  Engine RPM is 6000, just past the engine's torque peak.  Do you shift?  Well, if you do, the engine will be pulled down to 3600 RPM, and 2nd gear will send 246 ft-lb of torque to the wheels (actually, to the differential first, which amplifies the torque by a constant factor and sends it to the wheels).  Don't you think it would be better to hold it in first gear?  Torque is dropping off, but it's still 389 ft-lb at 7000 RPM, right before the 7200 RPM redline.  So, for this powertrain, first gear is *always* the best deal for acceleration, at any speed, except that you can't accelerate past the redline.

The 1-2 shift at 7200 RPM pulls the engine down to 4400 RPM, where 2nd will deliver 265 ft-lb of torque.  Not only did you win by maintaining the high torque of 1st all the way to 7200 RPM, you are now better off in second gear.

Same thing goes for the 2-3 shift.  2nd gear output torque at the redline is still greater than 3rd gear output torque at any engine speed, so you wind her out as far as she'll go before you shift to 3rd.  Same for the 3-4, same for the 4-5.

But, you ask, isn't your acceleration greatest at the torque peak?  Yes, it is!  BUT ONLY WITHIN THAT GEAR.  The next gear down will give you even greater acceleration at the same speed, unless the vehicle speed is too high for that gear.

To use engine torque to understand how your car performs, you MUST include the effects of the transmission.


OK, so what about power?  As has been noted by a previous contributor, Power (hp) = Torque (ft-lb) * RPM / 5252.  Note that power is also force * velocity, specifically:

   Power (hp) = Force (lb) * Velocity (MPH) / 374

That's net horsepower, which is engine power minus losses like transmission and tire friction.  The force is the sum of the longitudinal forces at the contact patches of the two driven tires.

Hmmm...  P = F * V  ...rearrange to get F = P / V  ...  that means that you get the maximum force pushing the car if you maximize your *Power* at any given velocity.  This gives us another useful rule:

    Shift to maximize engine POWER, not engine torque!

This is *exactly* the same as saying "shift to maximize transmission output torque".  But it's a little easier to apply.  Here's how.

Using the torque information above, I get the following power curve:

 RPM     HP
1000    10
1500    19
2000    30
2500    44
3000    59
3500    76
4000    91
4500   107
5000   124
5500   139  (peak torque)
6000   149
6500   151  (peak power)
7000   147

The tires don't see quite these numbers due to losses, but I'm going to assume that the losses are comparable from gear to gear and that the overall shape of the power curve remains the same.

Applying the maximum power rule, we'd like to race down the 1/4 mile with the engine always as close to 6500 RPM as possible.  If we had a continuously variable transmission, the lowest E.T.  would be achieved by keeping the engine dead on 6500 RPM.  5500 is not the best; at any vehicle speed, the engine would put out more torque but the transmission will have a less advantageous gear ratio, so you get a net loss of force to the tires.  Apply P = F * V or P = T * RPM to prove this.

Since the Neon doesn't have a CVT, we have to shift.  The shift points are pretty easy to determine.  In fact, you don't really need to know anything about the gear ratios of the different gears, which is why power is sometimes easier to understand than torque.

I'm going to assume that the DOHC puts out at least 145 horsepower at the redline (7200 RPM).  Shifting at the redline in each gear should drag the engine down as follows:

shift    RPM drop       Horsepower change
------   ---------------    ------------------
1->2   7200->4700    145->114
2->3   7200->4600    145->110
3->4   7200->5500    145->139
4->5   7200->5000    145->124

(I derived this, but all you really need to do is drive the car, shift, and find out where the motor lands)

Note - and this is important - the transmission does not amplify power.  Power in = power out, minus losses (which are low for a manual transmission).  This is predicted by the law of conservation of energy.

Is 7200 the correct shift point?  It would *not* be the correct shift point if the engine was making more power in the new gear than the old gear.  That would mean that you should have shifted earlier.  But in this case, the power output at redline is always greater than the power output after the shift.  So it's the best performance you can get.

A more rigorous way of doing this is to graph horsepower vs. velocity in each of the gears.  If power in one gear drops below the horsepower of the next gear at a particular MPH, then that MPH is where you should shift, otherwise shift at the redline.

I leave as an exercise for the reader the following:  predicting shift points based on engine torque, RPM, and gear ratio gives the same results as predicting shift points based on power and vehicle velocity.


There are no exceptions; a car running at its (net) power peak can accelerate no harder at that same vehicle speed.  There is no better gear to choose, even if another gear would place the engine closer to its torque peak.  You'll find that a car running at peak power at a given vehicle speed is delivering the maximum possible torque to the tires (although the engine may not be spinning at its torque peak).  This derives immediately from first principles in physics.

However, note the following:
 -- Transmission losses are not shown on engine power curves.  The net power curve (power delivered to the ground) may have a different shape or even a different peak RPM as a result.  This would result in different shift point.  Best results are obtained from a power curve measured by a chassis dynamometer.
 -- The discussion above assumes negligible tire slip.  If you exceed the maximum traction available from the tires, then additional power doesn't help.  That's why it's sometimes no loss at all to shift early when the tires break loose, and in fact it can be a benefit.


Torque and power are (almost) flip sides of the same coin.  Increasing the torque of an engine at a particular RPM is the same as increasing the power output at the same RPM.  Power is just as useful and relevant in determining vehicle performance as is torque.  In some situations it's more useful, because you may not have to play with gear ratios and a calculator to understand what's going on.

A car accelerates hardest with gearing selected to stay as close as possible to the engine *power* peak, subject to the traction capability of the tires.  Not all cars should be shifted at the redline for maximum performance.  But it's true for many cars.  You can determine optimal shift points by graphing horsepower vs. velocity or transmission torque vs. RPM.  Engine torque alone will not determine shift points."

 - Ed Lansinger
(Design Engineer, Ford Motor Company, Visteon Automotive Systems)
(former Design Engineer at GM Powertrain; inventor of Cadillac's Performance Algorithm Shifting feature)

5.3.2 We all know you should use genuine Mopar body parts.  Here's why.
"This isn't intended as a sales pitch, but there is a big difference between aftermarket sheetmetal and the OEM stuff.  The aftermarket stuff is stamped with dies made of less-durable and less-accurate material that we only use to make prototype parts.  The aftermarket makers have to go this route to contain costs; these dies cost less than half as much to make as the ones we use in production. Aftermarket sheetmetal typically doesn't fit as well as OEM, and can be difficult to install.  This typically shows up as body gaps that are inconsistent; if the panel is not formed to the right shape, no amount of adjusting adjacent panels on the car will create the (relatively) even gaps that your car had when it was built.

The stamping dies used to stamp body parts at the Neon plant (we saw this on the Neon 97 tour!) cost between 1-4 Million dollars *each* to develop and make.  When you take into account that (on average) it takes 2 or 3 different dies to stamp out a body panel, you can see that an aftermarket maker just couldn't use dies like ours and still turn a profit.

Do the aftermarkets use galvannealed steel like the original parts?  I doubt it.  Galvanized (not galvannealed) sheet metal is harder to paint to a proper appearance.  The Mopar OEM replacement sheet metal is coated with electrically-deposited primer (E-coat) just like your Neon's body was at the assembly plant.  The use of E-coat produces rust protection equal to the original stuff, and dramatically reduces sanding and prep time for the body shop fixing your car.  The Mopar sheet metal also has a rust warranty that exceeds the corrosion warranty on your car. Do aftermarket panels have this?

Differences like these are the reason why many states have laws requiring insurance companies to use OEM sheetmetal if the customer requests it.

BTW -- For those who don't understand what I mean by "stamping", think of the stamping process as being similar to using a cookie cutter on cookie dough.  The cookies are shaped to 2 dimensions (width and length), but body panels are shaped to 3 dimensions (width, length and depth).  Unlike sheetmetal stamping, it shouldn't take hundreds of tons of force to cut out cookies!"

- Greg Smith

5.3.3 A few words about the problems involved with adding boost to the Neon.
"Recently, several folks on the list have been contemplating a supercharger or turbo setup for the Neon.  I have been thinking about the feasibility of this a bit, and I thought I'd share some info.

Since the Neon uses a speed-density fuel injection system, it does not directly measure the amount of air flowing into the intake manifold. Instead, it measures the intake air temperature, manifold vacuum, barometric pressure and RPM to *calculate* the amount of air flowing into the engine.  Since the PCM would have no way to know about the increased airflow resulting from a turbo or supercharger, you can't just bolt on a turbo/supercharger and expect the car to run properly.

I was thinking about the aftermarket supercharger kits that some companies offer for the Dodge Magnum V8s.  How do they get around the limitations of a speed-density system?  What are they using for a MAP sensor?  Do they have custom software?  To find some answers, I spoke with someone from the Mopar Performance tech line.

The guy that I spoke with told me that the aftermarket V8 supercharger kits they have tested did not use modified software -- they just relied on an additional fuel pump to keep up.  I was told that in spite of the additional fuel pressure, trucks with these kits run very lean with 6 psi boost, which results in (at least) a blown head gasket sooner or later.  I was told that Mopar Performance does NOT endorse any of these supercharger kits because of this issue.

I asked about the supercharged Neon GTS concept car.  I was told that they basically just bolted that car together as a show vehicle and knew that the fuel/air ratio would not be correct when under boost. They knew that the drivability would not be correct, but it doesn't matter since the car is a show vehicle that is rarely driven.

We both agreed that you couldn't get a super/turbo setup to run properly without (at least) a turbo-style MAP sensor and significant PCM software changes.  The Mopar Perf guy said that some folks who race trucks in SuperStock drag racing are finding that the PCM has a hard time keeping up with some of the cams that they run.

I just thought you'd all like to know..."

- Greg Smith

5.3.4 A discussion of fuel injection control by the stock PCM.
"There are two types of fuel (injector pulsewidth) adaptives: short term and long term.

Short term basically follows the O2 sensor signal and slightly modifies the pulsewidth in order to keep the O2 sensor switching between rich (lack of O2, or high volts) and lean (lotsa O2, or low volts) states. Short term adaptive is only operating when you are in a closed loop mode, and is therefore not operating at WOT or immediately after a cold start. When the engine is fairly well warmed up (coolant temp above 170 deg F), short term typically runs back and forth over a range between +5% and -5% of base calculated injector pulsewidth. Short term has the authority to go to a maximum of + or - 25% of base calculated pulsewidth.

Long term adaptive is used under all conditions, but the learned values contained in the table can only be updated under closed loop operating conditions with coolant temp above 170 deg F. So, the values in the long term adaptive table are used to alter the pulsewidth even when in open loop immediately after a cold start, but the values themselves cannot change until coolant temp reaches 170. Long term also has the authority to go to a maximum of + or - 25% of base calculated pulsewidth.

Long term "learns" a value when the short term adaptive strays significantly from zero percent pulsewidth correction *and* coolant temp is above 170 F. Long term moves in the direction that short term is going; for example, if short term (due to O2 sensor feedback) has to go to +8%, then long term will start incrementing (in 1% steps) in the positive direction until it covers the movement of short term. Long term always tries to keep short term within +/- 3% pulsewidth change. One little quirk of the 4-cylinder PCMs is that long term will not "learn" when you are above 3400 RPM. The PCM will still use the pulsewidth correction percentages in the appropriate adaptive cell, but it will not change those values above 3400 RPM. In that situation, short term can and does stray farther from the zero line.

Long term is intended to adapt the PCM's pulsewidth equation to the particular components on your car: fuel injectors, fuel pump/pressure, engine compression, intake/exhaust airflow, the gas you buy, etc. As you know, these are a few of the items affecting the engine's Volumetric Efficiency (VE). Of course, this is necessary because all powertrains of the same spec are not identical since there are production tolerances involved. Long term adpative is also expressed in terms of a percentage change to the calculated base injector pulsewidth.

The long term adaptive table is assembled by RPM and MAP paramaters. There are (If I remember correctly) 16 "cells" to cover the following conditions: idle drive (automatics only), idle neutral, the vacuum range from high to low with RPM below approximately 2000, the vacuum range from high to low with RPM above approx 2000, deceleration below approx 2000 RPM and decel above approx 2000 RPM. The 4-cylinder fuel injection training book is one of the few published sources which actually spells out what MAP and RPM parameters it takes to be "in" a given cell.

The DRB III scan tool (and presumably a good professional aftermarket scan tool) will show the long term table if you look under "adaptive memory monitor" under engine.

A DOHC PCM might be really interesting to try on a more aggressively cammed SOHC Neon. The "hotter" of the two listed Mopar Performance cams supposedly pulls nicely up to at least 7000 RPM, which would mesh nicely with the DOHC's rev limiter. By contrast, the stock '95 Neon SOHC cam doesn't require revving past 6100 RPM on 2-3 and 3-4 shifts. Even if you retarded the stock '95 cam, I doubt that the powerband would be shifted enough to require more than 6500 RPM shift points for the 2-3 and 3-4 shifts. I'm sure that the aftermarket would be more than happy to grind up all sorts of alternative cams that would really zing at higher RPM, with the expected loss at lower RPM.

The adaptives may cover your closed-loop fuel needs (altering fuel pressure and/or injector flow rate may also be necessary) and the presumably greater ignition advance of the DOHC PCM would be interesting. Both the DOHC and SOHC run a knock sensor in stock form."

- Greg Smith

5.3.5 Some important words about 0-60 acceleration times.
"All this talk (and heat) over 0-60 times isn't really worth a lot of hand wringing or bandwidth. That said, here are a couple of facts re 0-60 times:

The first item is that Car & Driver, Road & Track and Motor Trend all "zero" their measured times to the drag strip. That is to say, they all allow about a foot of rollout before they actually start the clock. The average street car on street tires takes about four tenths of a second to roll this distance - perhaps a tad less for something powerful with really good traction (such as a Porsche), but still more than three tenths.  Therefore, if you're testing 0-60s with a Vericom or other accurate instrument, the Car & Driver time of 7.5 seconds converts to around 7.9 seconds. If you're using a driver-held stop watch activated at first clutch lift, figure maybe 8.1 or so, assuming your speedometer is accurate. (As a by the way, I've found that many Neon speedos are a bit happy, registering 62-63 at an actual 60.)

To put it another way, if Car & Driver ran that 0-60 test on the '98 R/T with their own measurement system, plus a Vericom, plus a driver-held stop watch, they'd get 7.5, about 7.9, and about 8.1 seconds, respectively - same car, same run.  Car & Driver and Motor Trend also correct their times to "standard day" conditions. Road & Track doesn't.

People in this file are measuring (or estimating) 0-60 times using different means, under different conditions, so the moral is: don't get crazy if you can't hit 60 in 7.5 seconds, or 6.0 seconds, or whatever.  See next for why you really shouldn't care.

The second thing about 0-60 is that it's IMMATERIAL. The only thing you can say about a car that does 0-60 quicker than another car is that there's a better than 50% chance that it will be ahead at that time.  The *only* thing.  Time to speed is something completely different than time to distance, so there's no telling with certainty who will be ahead at a given speed, based only on time to speed differences.  The "quicker" car may very well be behind at 60.

As an example of how this works, my R/T (and I assume all 5-speed DOHC Neons) needs a two-three shift before it gets to 60.  This will slow the 0-60 time by the time needed for the shift. If Chrysler regeared the final drive ratio in the DOHC just enough so that it could touch 60 in second gear, it would very likely show a slightly improved 0-60 time - but it would almost certainly be *behind* the stock DOHC car at the time, because it would be a tad slower off the line.

As another example, my last Vette (a '93 LT-1 six-speed coupe) was very quick, and I ran it a fair bit at New England Dragway in order to see how quick I could go while 100% stock.  From time to time, I'd line up with another guy who had a stock '94 LT-1 auto - also very quick.  With similar reaction times, better overall gearing in first gear, and a 1.68:1 torque multiplier (at stall) in his stock torque converter, he'd pretty much always pull me off the line (1.86 best 60 foot against my 1.91 best), and keep pulling until somewhere near the top of his first gear (around 45 mph). Then I'd stop him and begin pulling him back, catching him near the top of my second gear, somewhere near 70 mph.  The implication? Pretty simple, really. I beat him to 60, and I was behind at the time.

A final example (and a pop quiz):

If car A gets to 100 in 13.2 seconds, and to 108 in about 14.7 seconds, while car B gets to 100 in about 11.8 seconds and to 108 in 13.2 seconds, who's ahead at 100?

Answer: Car A, in this case.  Car A was a slightly modified (more boost) GMC Syclone AWD pickup in the right lane down at Atco Dragway, and car B was me in my LT-1 in the left lane.  We launched together, but he came out like a ball bearing out of a slingshot with AWD and preload-generated boost (1.72 60-foot against my 1.94), and I spent the whole damned quarter mile chasing him down. At the finish line, he went 13.21 at 100, while I went 13.22 at 108.  Winner: Syclone.  Close, but no cigar for the Vette.

Moral: Don't get crazy about *any* time to speed.  It's time to distance that counts.

PS - To estimate changes in quarter mile times and speeds due to weight changes (or power gains), use the cube root of the change in power-to-weight ratio.  As an example, a 10% gain in power (or reduction in weight) should yield a 3.2% change in the numbers, so a 16.0 @ 85 car might turn into a 15.50 @ 87.7 car with 10% more power or 10% less weight."

- Bruce

5.3.6 What is the theory behind header design?
"Headers function in different ways.  Lets go with the 'scavenge' effect first.  On a four stroke, four cylinder engine, you have a cylinder firing every 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation.  That means each of the 4 cylinders is at a different stage in the four stroke cycle.  Because of valve overlap, the exhaust valve on a cylinder is still open for a very short period of time while the piston is starting down on its intake stroke, thus pulling vacuum on the exhaust system.  Now, that small amount of vacuum can be used to help pull the exhaust from another cylinder, or 'scavenge'.  The length of the tubes from the head to the collector determine the rpm where maximum scavenging occurs.

The stock manifold is short, thus scavenging occurs low in the rpm band; the Pacesetter header which is longer scavenges most in the mid range; and some other brands which are a long tube design are more for the upper rpm range.  What this scavenging does is increase the torque in the area of maximum scavenging.  So for normal putting around town the stock manifold is the best choice; that is one of the reasons the factory uses that length. The mid-range is the best for most general performance use where acceleration drops into the mid-range rpms and climbs back up.  Drag racing and road racing would be two common examples of this.  The long tube design is for sustained high rpm running, such as land speed records or Goody's Dash series cars running at Daytona where speeds remain constant with little or no acceleration.  The long tube can increase the maximum speed of the a car by increasing the torque at high rpms, but has little use on the street.

Headers also reduce exhaust restrictions by making more gradual bends.  Look at the stock manifold: the bends are more harsh; if you drill and tap a hole in one of those bends you will read a pressure increase in the turns.  The headers have less of a bend, so the pressure is reduced.  Reduced pressure in the exhaust system equals increased power.  The piston coming up on the exhaust stroke pushes the exhaust out of that cylinder; since the piston on the power stroke is driving the piston on the exhaust stroke, it takes engine power to push the exhaust out.  The more restrictive the exhaust flow, the more power the engine has to use.  Therefore if we reduce the restriction by adding a header, less power is required to push out the exhaust.  That "extra" power now can be used at the wheels to accelerate the car.

The addition of headers will do one other thing - it will effectively lean out the fuel mixture.  If you add only the header you will gain power, but in order to get the full benefit of the header you will have to richen the fuel mixture.  This should be done because the air/fuel ratio from the factory is set to the lean side in order to meet emission standards.  [Editorís Note:  this statement is not entirely correct.]  The header will push it more into the lean side; power comes with a richer mixture.  The only way to richen the fuel mixture on the Neon is to have the computer reprogrammed.

[Editorís Note:  other sources maintain that naturally aspirated Neons do not run lean, even with normal bolt-on modifications.  Also, one other point of header design Gary doesnít mention:  headers are configured in certain ways to make the runners for all cylinders close to equal in length.  This improves consistency of air/fuel flow across all cylinders.  -- Duke]

In short I recommend a header that will enhance mid range torque, such as the Pacesetter Header.  In addition one should consider having the computer reprogrammed to richen the fuel mixture, to make a better combination."

- Gary Howell

5.3.7 How about that One Millionth Neon?!
Belvidere, Illinois Family Takes Delivery of the One Millionth Neon And It's Free!

BELVIDERE, Ill., March 19,1998 /PRNewswire/ -- The one millionth Neon ­ a Cranberry Red, four-door Dodge Neon -- rolled-off the assembly line at Chrysler Corporation's (NYSE: C) Belvidere Assembly plant earlier this morning amid the cheers of hundreds of the plant's employees.  But no cheer was louder than that of its proud new owner -- Gordon Keast of Belvidere, Ill. ­ when told that his new "purchase" was being paid for in full by Chrysler.

Immediately after the Neon was driven through a "Thanks a Million" banner, Mr. Keast was presented with his keys "free of charge" by Gary Henson, Vice President - Manufacturing, Chrysler, in a ceremony attended by the plant's employees and local dignitaries, including the Honorable Charles Box, Mayor of Rockford, Ill.

"Reaching the one million milestone for Neon vehicle production, coupled with the recent completion of $90 million in investments in the facility, has certainly given the workforce and the local community a whole lot to be proud of," said Henson.  "It clearly demonstrates the success of Neon in the marketplace -- both nationally and internationally -- along with Chrysler's
continued confidence for the future."

When the Keasts placed their order for a new 1998 Neon from Burton Motors in Belvidere, it signaled the milestone achievement for one of America's most popular and fun-to-drive subcompacts.  Neon production began at Belvidere Assembly in late 1993 and remains Chrysler's only small car production facility in the United States.

Belvidere Assembly employs 3,320 people working on two eight-hour production shifts.  They produce 1,064 Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler (left- and right-hand drive) a day at the plant.

Chrysler Corporation

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