1,600 layoffs coming at Illinois Jeep Cherokee factory

May 15, 2021 GMT

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — Some 1,600 jobs are being cut at a Jeep Cherokee factory in northern Illinois as automakers continue being plagued by the global shortage of semiconductors.

The U.S. arm of Stellantis, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, said Friday it was cutting one of the two work shifts at its Belvidere Assembly Plant as of July 26. That could result in the layoffs of 1,641 workers, company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said.

The company is trying to “balance sales with production,” although the factory’s situation “has been further exacerbated by the unprecedented global microchip shortage,” Tinson said.

The Belvidere has been idled since late March, with Stellantis repeatedly delaying the reopening that is now not expected until at least later this month.

Numerous other auto plants, including many owned by General Motors and Ford, have shut down in the past few months because of the chip shortage, which was caused by semiconductor makers switching their factories to more profitable consumer-electronics processors when automakers closed last year due to the pandemic.