Stellantis announced plans to lay off 1,350 northern Illinois assembly workers and idle the Belvidere plant indefinitely. Stellantis’ announcement follows a recent trend of major corporations moving operations out of the state, including Caterpillar, Boeing, Citadel, and Tyson Foods.
The assembly-line facility, opened by its predecessor Chrysler in 1965, was developed to assemble sedan automobiles. At its height, this complex has employed more than 4,000 workers in three shifts. However, with changes in demand for motor vehicles, production at Belvidere has ebbed and flowed. Belvidere’s lines have been rebuilt several times, with a major retooling cycle implemented in 2016. Starting in June 2017, the Belvidere plant specialized in SUV Jeep Cherokees.
The Jeep line has recently faced significant changes within the overall motor vehicle market, including soaring motor fuel prices throughout much of 2022. Throughout the production line complex’s entire history, the Belvidere plant has made motor-fuel-powered vehicles.
Although owner Stellantis, a global manufacturer of motor vehicles, characterizes the move as “idling” the plant rather than permanently shuttering it, the current status and future of liquid-fueled motor vehicles is providing industry analysts with an insight into the plant’s uncertain future. Stellantis stated that they would make efforts to place Belvidere workers into work slots in other facilities located in other states. The Belvidere complex is located in northern Illinois’ Boone County, between Elgin and Rockford. The northern Illinois shutdown will take place on February 28, 2023.