The Jeep Cherokee might be on its way out, since Stellantis has confirmed that it will idle its plant in Belvidere, Illinois, which is where the Jeep Cherokee is built. The plant will cease all production indefinitely starting on February 28, 2023.
Stellantis made the confirmation in a statement to WIFR and with the shut down, the plant’s 1,350 employees future is also uncertain. It’s not entirely known why the plant is being idled, but Jeep Cherokee sales are down 61 percent year-to-date and supply chain shortages are probably also to blame.
Stellantis also plans to electrify much of its lineup in the coming years, so that might also be a reason for the big decision. Since many, if not all of the workers at the plant may not find jobs elsewhere in the company, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union is not happy.
“We are all deeply angered by Stellantis’ decision to idle the Belvidere Assembly plant without a plan for future product,” says UAW Vice President and Director of the Stellantis Department, Cindy Estrada. “There are many vehicle platforms imported from other countries that could be built in Belvidere with skill and quality by UAW members at Belvidere. The transition to electrification also creates opportunities for new product. Companies like Stellantis receive billions in government incentives to transition to clean energy. It is an insult to all taxpayers that they are not investing that money back into our communities.”
There is a chance that Jeep Cherokee production might move to Stellantis’ Toluca, Mexico plant based on a Reuters report. This news about the Jeep Cherokee also comes after a report that Stellantis filed a trademark for the Liberty name. The Jeep Liberty was the replacement for the Cherokee in the early 2000s and now it looks like it might be coming back. Stay tuned.