Following a six-yr run at the Belvidere Assembly Plant, Jeep Cherokee generation is coming to an conclusion. What could switch out to be the final Jeep Cherokee ever rolled off the assembly line on Tuesday, as Autoblog stories, and the Belvidere Plant has gone idle. The potential of the Cherokee is now in problem, as perfectly as that of the Illinois plant and the 2,300 employees influenced by Stellantis idling Belvidere.
Jeep Cherokee production winding down is hardly a shock at this point: Stellantis had introduced it would be idling Belvidere in December of last 12 months. Product sales of the Jeep Cherokee have been declining steadily for months, which is in stark distinction to other little-to-midsize SUVs from Jeep’s rivals, including the massively well-known Toyota RAV4.
The Cherokee has struggled to uncover its footing in The usa despite a familiar (and, at times, controversial) badge even with the expanded capabilities and selections that Jeep extra to the most recent era — specifically, the release of the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. But it appears to be like like midsize SUV customers in the U.S. would alternatively have hybrids or plug-in hybrids as opposed to off-street deals.
Jeep has so considerably not declared precise strategies for the electrification of the Cherokee, but the company shared a statement about the SUV’s long run, expressing:
The Jeep brand name is thoroughly fully commited to growing its existence in the mid-dimension SUV segment, one of the biggest in the earth. The manufacturer recently introduced the introduction of two new thoroughly electrical, mid-dimension SUVs that will start output in 2024. We will make an announcement about the up coming era Jeep Cherokee in due system. All Jeep manufacturer motor vehicles will provide an electrified variant by 2025, together with four zero-emission cars in North The us and in Europe.
According to Stellantis, the Jeep Cherokee isn’t heading absent entirely. And if the business is, certainly, arranging to promote EV variants of each Jeep it makes, then a Cherokee 4Xe could see the gentle of day when the subsequent era is uncovered. The business is being cryptic about the timeline, nevertheless, and “due course” does not reveal substantially.
The company’s most recent investments into domestic EV creation in the U.S. counsel that lesser SUVs are not a problem for now. All around the identical time that Stellantis confirmed that it would suspend production at Belvidere, the business also introduced a $155 million expenditure for its manufacturing facilities in Indiana.
3 (extra or much less) adjacent assembly vegetation in Kokomo will get the job done in tandem to develop EV drivetrains that’ll go in the impending STLA Substantial and STLA Body platforms. But it is unclear if a doable Cherokee-based EV will be created working with possibly of those people, or if at all. Stellantis is performing on two other EV platforms (for a total of four) as it ramps up EV production across its models.
For now, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares claims the plant is staying idled fairly than shut entirely, in accordance to Automotive Information. But the business missed the Illinois plant when deciding the place to funnel any resources intended for potential EV generation. Sadly, that transition is behind Stellantis idling production at Belvidere right after 58 several years of assembly at the website: the plant has been creating FCA automobiles for decades, which includes the Plymouth Fury, Dodge Neon and Jeep Compass. Jeep Cherokee manufacturing experienced been ongoing due to the fact 2017.
Now that the plant is idle, some 2,300 workers are staying adversely impacted. These staff are represented by the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Put into practice Personnel of America (UAW), nevertheless, and the Union has been in talks with Stellantis over the “indefinite layoffs” at Belvidere. Some personnel are remaining relocated, although many others ended up offering the selection to retire early.
That does not bode well for what Tavares referred to as the “idling” of Belvidere as opposed to its closure. And the timing on this couldn’t be even worse: the UAW will be renegotiating its contracts with the Massive 3 from Detroit this year. It’s possible that Belvidere will be a single of the rallying details for the UAW for the duration of tense negotiations with Ford, GM and Stellantis.