Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep, has announced the temporary shutdown of its Belvidere assembly plant in Illinois, USA, following the production of the last Jeep Cherokee to roll off the line. The Belvidere plant has been the primary production site for the Jeep Cherokee since its introduction in 2013.
The temporary shutdown is due to an industry-wide shortage of semiconductors, which are used in various electronic components of modern vehicles. The shortage has led to production delays and shutdowns across the automotive industry, including at Stellantis plants in North America and Europe.
Stellantis has not announced when production at the Belvidere plant will resume. However, the company has stated that it plans to prioritize the allocation of semiconductors to its highest-demand products, such as the Ram 1500 pickup truck and Jeep Wrangler SUV.
The temporary shutdown of the Belvidere plant is expected to impact approximately 1,641 hourly workers who will be placed on temporary layoff. Stellantis has stated that affected employees will receive unemployment benefits and supplemental pay under the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.
The impact of the semiconductor shortage on the automotive industry has been significant, with many manufacturers cutting production and adjusting their supply chains to mitigate the effects. The shortage is expected to continue throughout 2021 and possibly into 2022, with industry experts warning that it could take several years for semiconductor production to catch up with demand.