2016 Jeep Cherokee Sport
DETROIT – Stellantis mentioned Friday that it plans to indefinitely idle a Jeep plant in Illinois, beginning early subsequent yr, to chop prices because it invests in electrical automobiles.
The transatlantic automaker, previously often called Fiat Chrysler, mentioned the plant will stop manufacturing as of Feb. 28. The greater than 1,200 staff on the facility, which produces Jeep Cherokee SUVs, will likely be positioned on indefinite layoffs, the corporate mentioned.
“Our business has been adversely affected by a mess of things like the continued COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide microchip scarcity, however essentially the most impactful problem is the growing value associated to the electrification of the automotive market,” Stellantis mentioned in an emailed assertion.
The corporate described the idling as a “tough however crucial motion.” It mentioned it’s “working to determine different alternatives to repurpose the Belvidere facility and has no further particulars to share presently.”
The Illinois plant has solely been working on one in every of three meeting shifts. It has sporadically been idled throughout the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing semiconductor chip scarcity.
Cherokee gross sales have been down by about 61% via the third quarter of this yr, greater than every other automobile in Jeep’s lineup.
Stellantis didn’t instantly reply for touch upon whether or not recessionary fears or the corporate’s collective bargaining subsequent yr with the United Auto Employees union performed into its choice.
In late-2018, forward of the 2019 UAW negotiations with the Detroit automakers, General Motors introduced plans to probably shut a number of amenities. Solely one of many main meeting crops – Lordstown Meeting in Ohio – for the automaker really ended up closing following the negotiations.