BELVIDERE, Ill. (WBBM) – The first production version of the 2013 Dodge Dart rolled off the Chrysler assembly line in Belvidere this week.

The Dart is said to be the most important car Chrysler will launch this year, and one of the most critical since it emerged from Chapter 11 in 2009. It is Chrysler’s first new compact car since 1995 when the Dodge and Plymouth Neon were introduced and coming out of Belvidere, near Rockford. The new production should be a boost to the Illinois economy.

Dart’s underlying structure is of an Alfa Romeo, and is the first engineered between Chrysler and majority owner Fiat. The job was made more challenging because the Jeep Patriot and Compass SUV’s are built on the same assembly line as the Dart, but come from a completely different platform. Critical reviews have been mostly positive.

The 2013 Darts should begin arriving in dealer showrooms next month and will be offered with five trim levels at a starting price of $15,995.