1,600 layoffs coming at Illinois Jeep Cherokee factory

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HOLLYWOOD, FL – JUNE 18: A pre-owned Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee from the year 2000 is seen for sale on June 18, 2013 in Hollywood, Florida. Chrysler agreed to recall 2.7 million older model Jeeps that include the Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 through 2004 and Jeep Libertys from 2002 through 2007. (Photo […]

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.

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