Stellantis Laying off 150 Jeep Employees in Illinois
Jeep is laying off 150 workers that would have otherwise been employed at its Belvidere Assembly Plant, which actually produces the Jeep Cherokee instead of the long defunct, full-size Plymouth. Based on the timing, this decision appears to have something to do with the FCA-PSA Group merger that formed Stellantis.
We’re only able to guess the core reasoning. With FCA having abandoned monthly reporting for quarterly, allegedly as a way to promote transparency, we don’t actually know how the Cherokee is performing on the market. It’s something the Detroit Free Press also noted when it broke the story.
While last year’s domestic volume of 135,855 represents a sizable decline from 2019, it wasn’t a typical year where you could say that was indicative of anything more than there being a pandemic that forced a lot of dealerships to close shop or operate under heavy restrictions.
“The Stellantis plant in Belvidere, Illinois, is rebalancing its staffing levels as it realigns production to meet global demand for the Jeep Cherokee. Following a review of its operations, 150 people will be indefinitely laid off, starting Feb. 20, 2021. The company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority,” according to a company statement issued by spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.
By contrast, we’ve heard nothing to suggest there will be any layoffs in Detroit related to the Grand Cherokee. But it didn’t have quite the sales slip that its little brother endured. Stellantis may simply have seen the Cherokee falling a little harder than the rest of the Jeep family while going over the books, and decided it wasn’t worth paying every single one of Belvidere’s 3,374 hourly and 206 salaried employees.