Automaker Stellantis lays off hundreds of American workers, blaming high cost of making electric cars

Multinational automaker Stellantis is indefinitely closing an assembly plant in Illinois in February and laying off hundreds of workers, largely because of the high cost of making electric vehicles.

Stellantis noted in an emailed statement to FOX Business on Friday that the industry has been adversely affected by factors including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the global microchip shortage and rising costs associated with electrification in the automotive market. very influential.

The automaker said a number of actions were taken to stabilize production and improve efficiency at its North American locations “to maintain affordability and customer satisfaction in terms of quality.”

However, while considering other ways to increase operations, Stellantis said the decision has been made to shut down the Belvedere plant starting on February 28, 2023.

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A Stellantis plant is seen in Dundee, Michigan

The engines are installed at the American Engine Complex on August 18, 2022, in Dundee, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The sign of Stellantis

A Stellantis sign outside the company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, on June 10, 2021. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/Reuters Photos)

“This difficult but necessary action will result in indefinite layoffs, which are expected to last six months and may result in job losses under the Employment Adjustment and Retraining (WARN) Act. As a result, WARN notices have been issued to both hourly and salaried employees,” it said. “The company will make every effort to place terminated employees indefinitely in open positions as they become available.”

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STLA STELLANTIS NV 14.45 -0.40 -2.69%

Stellantis also noted that it is working to identify other opportunities to reuse the facility.

There are about 1,350 workers at the Belvedere plant, which produces the Jeep Cherokee.

Jeep Cherokees outside the FCA Belvidere Assembly Plant

Jeep Cherokees line the parking lot outside the FCA Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois, where the vehicle is manufactured, in 2018. Stellantis will close the plant permanently at the end of February. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images/Getty Images)


Stellantis reportedly told The Associated Press that the company would not comment on the future of the “Cherokee nameplate.”

“This is an important vehicle in the lineup, and we’ve been committed to this midsize SUV segment for a long time,” Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson told the agency.

Belvidere Assembly Plant

FILE PHOTO: Chrysler Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. (REUTERS/Frank Polich/File Photo/Reuters Photos)

Stellantis said it will invest more than $31 billion by 2025 in electrifying its fleet, with electric vehicles making up half of its US sales by 2030.


A spokesman for the JB Pritzker administration, Jordan Abudeyyeh, said a response team at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity was assembled to help laid-off workers find new jobs.

He said the administration will work with local elected officials, community colleges and others to ensure appropriate training programs are available, and with Stellantis to find new uses for the Belvidere plant.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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