Stellantis will close its Illinois plant in February, resulting in the permanent layoffs of 1,350 workers.

The company cited rising expenses in the market for electric vehicles as the reason for the latest round of layoffs.

Stellantis said in a statement: “Our industry has been adversely affected by a multitude of factors like the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the global microchip shortage, but the most impactful challenge is the increasing cost related to the electrification of the automotive market.”

The company claimed to be taking action to “stabilize production” and “increase efficiency” in its North American plants.

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The European automaker announced that it will “idle” the Belvidere, Illinois assembly factory on February 23 and that the anticipated length of the layoffs will surpass six months.

The parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep, Stellantis, stated that it will “make every effort” to rehire the laid-off workers and that it is exploring for alternative ways to use the Belvidere facility.

The United Auto Workers International Union expressed its “deep rage” about the choice on Facebook.

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The lack of new items allocated to the company by Stellantis is “unacceptable,” according to the group’s president Ray Curry.

The Jeep Cherokee is built at the Illinois plant, where it will continue to be produced until the factory shuts down.

The manufacturer declined to comment on the future of that make and model.

Jodi Tinson, a Stellantis spokesperson, said in a statement: “This is an important vehicle in the lineup, and we remain committed long-term to this mid-size SUV segment.”

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The business announced in October that its joint venture, which makes Jeep automobiles in China, is declaring bankruptcy.

In order to diversify its business, Stellantis committed $35.5 billion in electric vehicles by the end of 2025.

According to CEO Carlos Tavares, the business intended for 70 percent of its sales in Europe and 40 percent of its sales in the US to be either completely electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles within four years.

Source: CNN Business

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