By on February 25, 2021

fca
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.

[Image :Stellantis/FCA]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

40 Comments on “Stellantis Laying off 150 Jeep Employees in Illinois...”


  • avatar

    Synergies. It is interesting to know how many people they will lay off in France and Italy.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve203

      “It is interesting to know how many people they will lay off in France and Italy.”

      Tavares was in Turin a few days ago warning that costs in Italy are higher than in Spain. He said it isn’t the worker’s fault, but costs are higher. Chatter has restarted that the Ellesmere Port plant in the UK will be shuttered, and, of course, that isn’t management’s fault either, it’s BREXIT.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      The first of many dominoes, I’m afraid.

      It’s funny how the existing big brands are shrinking and going away, while new brands are starting and growing.
      Maybe it’s a corporate circle of life thing, but somehow greed, mergers, acquisitions and takeovers always end up with less at the end than there was at the beginning.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Stellantis has already dropped from the fourth larger auto maker to #6. They will shrink their way to greatness!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I think it’s called rationalization of the portfolio of models. Tavares is a brutal cost-cutter in the mold of Ghosn, who saw him as a threat and bounced him from Renault/Nissan.

      Now Ghosn is a fugitive, and Tavares is in chsrge of a combined PSA/FCA/Opel company that has been turning a profit. Now we’ll see if Tavares cheapens the models that survive the rationalization, like Ghosn did.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    Here’s a very short article written with an agenda, “Stellantis is evil”.

    Looks like it’s time to remove you from my bookmarks since you don’t seem capable of reporting news.

    Well done TTAC, well done.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    I bet Bramalea is next.
    :-/

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    The Belvedere plant has been at its best when producing multiple products, most recently when it produced the previous-gen Compass, the Patriot and the Dart. With just the Cherokee there currently, it is way under capacity. The long-rumored Chrysler version of the Chinese-market Grand Commander would pick up some of that slack. This is simply a matter of laying off a shift that isn’t needed at this time. NOT a case of Stellantis being the bad guy and cutting Amurrican workers.

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    With the insane drunk-with-power Democrats running things just wait when the economy, the booming economy created by a smart businessman, completely tanks. Those idiots have no clue how to run a prosperous country. Soon many of us will be struggling or out of work. It’s coming. We saw it for 8 years under Obama. But hey, you allowed the steal so live with the consequences.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Wow – everything you said there is false.

      Not that you’ll keep reading, but:

      1. “drunk with power” – seems to apply to those in power, period.

      2. “a smart businessman” – that myth seems to be unraveling

      3. “created” – gimme a break. The economy is an organic thing that evolves pretty slowly. Presidents take credit for things well beyond their control, and blame others for things they’ve had a hand in.

      4. “8 years under Obama” – The DJIA climbed 12% YOY under his terrible presidency. Unemployment spiked to 10% during the 2009 recession inherited from Bush, then fell steadily to 4% by the time Obama left. I was no fan of Obama, but he didn’t wreck the economy.

      5. “the steal” – a coordinated conspiracy required to do this is impossible to pull off. Just consider how many “ands” you have to string together to make it so:

      – crooked poll workers willing to risk a felony charge
      and
      -crooked polling machines
      and
      -polling judges who turned their backs at key times
      and
      -crooked judges from both parties
      and
      -foreknowledge of the districts to throw
      and
      -some Republicans won in some districts, probably just as a ruse
      and
      -crooked mail-in balloting system, but only where it mattered
      and
      -the ability to outflank the tricks from the other side
      and
      -the courage to do so in the most scrutinized election ever
      and
      -none of the conspirators talks about it when they’re drunk or otherwise compromised.

      Occam’s Razor tells us that oftentimes the simplest explanation is the right one. Candidates lose; why is it impossible to believe yours lost?

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        “Unemployment spiked to 10% during the 2009 recession inherited from Bush, then fell steadily to 4% by the time Obama left.”

        The Obama administration changed how they counted the unemployed:

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/02/09/dont-be-fooled-the-obama-unemployment-rate-is-11/?sh=758fa4bb6781

        If you were unemployed long enough during the Obama years his administration simply stopped counting you as unemployed.

        My industry saw a massive influx of immigrant workers during the Obama years – the net result was flat wages and underemployment for almost a decade.

        During the Trump administration my industry finally saw a tightening of immigrant workers and rising wages in our sector.

        You can hand-wave all you like – but people in the trenches saw this trend with their own eyes – and wallets.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Therefore – using your logic – if Trump reverted back to the ‘original’ Bush method of counting unemployed people, the unemployment rate should have spiked after he came into office, since Obama’s figures were deceptive.

          But it didn’t. Unemployment actually continued its downward trend until the pandemic hit. So did Trump continue lying as Obama did?

          The observation in your industry isn’t necessarily the same as the national trends.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Teddyc is trying to keep the barbecue going by throwing old lighter fluid on the ashes.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Buy the Obama. He got us out of the Great Recession
      Test Drive the Biden Anyone who owns a classic Corvette can’t be all bad.
      Burn the Trump, Send that racist piece of $h!t straight to hell. Along with his Russian bride and spoiled brat kids. Under his watch the U.S. has gone from the Shining Star upon a Hill. To a deseased two faced whore. It’s going to take generations to heal the racial divisions he opened up, and twice that long to pay down the debt his administration ran up. Anyone still flying Trump flags or wearing Trump gear should be shot on sight.

      • 0 avatar
        C5 is Alive

        Careful with that last sentence. I doubt I’m alone here in thinking the very same of you.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          C5 is Alive

          Go for it! Here in Cook County Illinois we have some of the best hospitals in the world. Experts in treating gun shot wounds.
          You’ll probably bleed to death, While your local doctor is trying to get a pork chop bone out of some fat guys throat.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        Classy post there, sport.

        Remember when they were trying to sell ReUniting the country? What they really wanted was revenge. You can have one or the other, not both.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          28Sexp
          By reuniting the country. Biden meant Democrats and main stream Republicans. Basically the Christians, Gun Rights people, Business people and Republicans that believe their taxes are too high.

          He didn’t mean crazy conspiracy theory believing racist isolationists. You idiots can go “F” yourselves.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            So all it takes for you not to murder Republicans is for them to turn into Democrats? Or renounce their faith (only if they’re Christians, of course), give up their constitutional rights, and believe only the right conspiracy theories?

            Yep, that’s a winning message.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            285exp
            I call it defending the U.S. Constitution. Any one stupid enough to be manipulated into attacking their own capital, doesn’t deserve to breath.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Interesting take Peter. Got a lot of guns do you? The people you are talking about murdering likely have a few. Lucky thing about the hospitals…sounds like you’d need one should you try to see your little Gestapo plan to fruition.

        You know, most of the people you are discussing had nothing to do with that capital bit and probably won’t sit by and let you “shoot them on site” .

        But as you are from Chicago I shouldn’t be shocked given your fair city’s murder rate. You fit right in lol.

  • avatar
    Dartdude

    The Cherokee is past it sale date. Jeep needs use a slightly smaller version of the current Grand Cherokee as the next Cherokee.

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      Agreed, and I find hard to believe other than the Compass and Wrangler/Gladiator, everything else is at least 6 years old product. The Cherokee is over 7 years old, a new generation is overdue and since we haven’t heard about any new generation (if any), make that at least 2 more years on the same generation.

      Then automakers wonder why their product stops selling? Auto inflicted wounds, that’s all I’ll say

    • 0 avatar
      Lichtronamo

      FCA has been amazing at stretching product cycles – the 300/Charger/Challenger and Grand Cherokee/Durango date back to DC. The Cherokee rides a newer platform but is out of date. The Stellantis merger could delay a new model while they try to rationalize platforms for the née company going forward – depends on how far along the new one is, if like the Grand Cherokee, too late to stop (not that Peugeot would have a platform for it). In the mean time, bring the Peugeot 2008, 3008, and 5008 as Chryslers!

  • avatar
    here4aSammich

    I’m guessing they can turn down a transfer (likely paid move) to another plant? Chrysler/Cerberus/FCA/Stellantis/YourNameHere is actively hiring supplemental and full time here in Toledo.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “we don’t actually know how the Cherokee is performing on the market”

    That’s not true, and that’s not The Truth About Cars.

    You have quarterly data. And, you mention the 2020 sales, so you *do* know how the Cherokee is performing in the market.

    Mfrs report quarterly data so the press *doesn’t* use noisy monthly data as a thermometer. Eating one big meal a day doesn’t mean you’re not being fed.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      And I’ll add – the longest gap in data you ever have is three months. Those Jeep workers weren’t laid off due to a blip that occurred since Thanksgiving.

      As others have pointed out, Jeep would be looking at long-term trends in Cherokee demand, and must have concluded it won’t rebound anytime soon. The last few months would be irrelevant.

  • avatar
    Steve203

    As some have mentioned, the current Cherokee is long in the tooth.

    The Steve Plan for several years has been to replace the Cherokee with the Chinese market Commander. The Commander is on the same platform, available in both two and three row versions, with fresh styling and upgraded interior, everything the Cherokee needs.

    Official news in Brazil and India now is a new three row on an enlarged Compass platform is in the works. Official corporate announcements say it will not be a “Grand Compass”, but have unique styling and character.

    So, the Steve Plan evolves: replace the current Cherokee with the new three row, so it can do double duty, both replacing the current Cherokee and the now discontinued 3 row Journey.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      That Commander looks a lot like the new Grand Cherokee, but yeah, this model is OLD.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Is it, though? It’s the first Jeep on the Fiat compact/compact-wide platform, and began with model year 2014. The 2.4 base engine IS old, and is the main problem, after the 2014-15 teething problems of the 9 speed automatic, since fixed.

        It’s a Jeep so the basic architecture shouldn’t need to be changed on a five-six year car platform schedule. The original full size Cherokee was made for ten model years as a 2-door alternative to the Wagoneer, and the compact replacement XJ was built for eighteen model years in both 2-door and 4-door versions.

        This compact model is in its eighth model year and could go another 2-4 years, at least. The only question is how many people want to buy them? If they upgrade to the 3.2 V6, it’s a decent performer, but has less storage space than similar sized competition, and that may be its biggest deficiency.

        Instead of looking at sales, try looking at inventory. That might tell you the real reason people are getting laid off.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Automotive News’ future product timeline lists the Cherokee redesign as “2024?” Jeep may only report sales quarterly, but they know internally which way the wind is blowing for a product. If, sales are slipping, no reason to expect them to bounce back for an outdated product in one of these most competitive segments.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve203

      >>Automotive News’ future product timeline lists the Cherokee redesign as “2024?” <<

      The new product matrix Marchionne presented a couple months before he died showed the following for 2022: new Renegade, refreshed Compass (which the Indian media is atwitter about), new Cherokee, new "low D" segment 3 row, new 2 row Grand Cherokee and E segment 3 row.

      We know about the new Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L.

      The "low D" 3 row would be the Compass based, but "unique identity" model Indian and Brazilian media are talking about.

      The only questions are the "new Cherokee" and "new Renegade" for 22. My two cents worth wrt the "new Renegade", I bet we don't see it in the US. I figure with European market Compasses built in Melfi now, and the 500 and Journey dropped from Toluca's production slate, Toluca has plenty of capacity to meet North American Compass demand, plus all the Renegade prospects that get shifted to a Compass, making the Renegade redundant.

  • avatar
    Dartdude

    The problem Jeep has it it a off road brand. To make it viable they need to be strong and heavy. Jeep should drop the Compass and Renegade models as they are based on front wheel. Jeep models should be Rwd/4wd only. They could make a mini Wrangler model.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    I rented one for a weekend trip (red) I parked it at our hotel way up on the top away from any other door dingers, when I went to get it on our last day someone had pulled in too close to it and rubbed the paint and wheel on the front drivers side, I couldn’t believe it. I rubbed off the black tire mark with compound and bought a small red paint touch up pen and was able to restore it! When I handed it in, they did a brief walk around and never said anything. ;-)

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dukeisduke: I thought the Prius V was a good idea, but I don’t know whether they sold many. I used to see them...
  • dukeisduke: When we were looking for the first used car for our oldest daughter, I pointed out a couple of Priuses...
  • 28-Cars-Later: “They strike me as a either sticking a finger in the EV dike in desperation, or purposely lying...
  • 28-Cars-Later: “The Aqua is offering substantially better-claimed efficiencies in a smaller and likely cheaper...
  • thegamper: Oh, almost forgot. My kid was big on Subaru Foresters initially. We drove a few in our price range below...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber