Stellantis is sticking with its plans to close the sole Jeep Cherokee plant in Illinois, however the company has hinted it may reopen in the future.
The facility, located in Belvidere, employs over 1,300 people and is the SUV’s only manufacturer. Sales of the vehicle have plummeted over the last four years, causing Stellantis to cut production and labor at the Jeep Cherokee plant. The automaker announced its decision to close the factory earlier this month, a move which drew the ire of the United Auto Workers union. Since then, the company has clarified that the plant wasn’t going to be abandoned, but would rather be going into an indefinite “idle” mode. Executives also promised to assist newly unemployed workers with job-placements at other Stellantis facilities.
While the automaker has not revealed its intentions, the decision to close the Jeep Cherokee plant was announced shortly after the state of Illinois expanded tax credits incentivizing automakers to convert old facilities into EV factories. While many remain hesitant to ditch gas-powered vehicles, pressure from the Biden Administration and climate activists seemed to have finally pushed both consumers and the auto-industry towards eco-friendly alternatives.
The EV market, while still tiny, has grown significantly over the course of 2022, with several car manufacturers, including Stellantis, publishing ambitious plans to phase out the internal combustion engine within the next two decades. If the facility does reopen, it is entirely possible that it will make one of the many electric models the company has planned. For now, however, the plant will be laying off its workforce and closing its doors by the end of February 2023, putting an end to Jeep Cherokee production.
Did you enjoy this article? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by connecting with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.