Stellantis Cuts Jobs as Jeep Cherokee Production Struggles

The semiconductor shortage has been hitting the auto industry hard, and jobs at the Jeep Cherokee plant may be cut as a result. Hopefully, those working to assembly Jeep Cherokee models can find work at other plants.

The Jeep Cherokee plant faces job cuts

The Cherokee Nation doesn't love the Jeep Cherokee name
2021 Jeep Cherokee | Jeep

Those who work on pumping out Jeep Cherokee models at the production plant in Illinois face job cuts. Stellantis announced that due to the semiconductor shortage and other related supply chain challenges, about 400 people have been informed of an employee reduction. It will take place early next year.

The jobs at risk are those at the Belvidere Assembly facility. About 2,262 hourly staff work onsite, along with roughly 200 salaried personnel. These are the workers for one shift. Earlier in the year, the second shift was nixed.

Stellantis needs to balance production with global sales. Meaning the Jeep Cherokee could have a lack of customer interest. But instead of a lack of interest, you could blame the lack of supply.

The Cherokee is down in sales by about 20 percent year over year, but this is attributed to the lack of semiconductor chips. The chips have been going to the most popular models, like the Jeep wrangler instead.

Will the Belvidere Assembly plant keep making Cherokee models?

Yes, Belvidere Assembly will continue producing Jeep Cherokee models. It just won’t operate at full capacity until supply chain issues return to normal. We certainly hope that the auto industry can rebound soon.

Some rumors were floating around about Belvidere needing an investment to transition to electric vehicles. Illinois recently announced various tax incentives to attract electric vehicle buyers to the state.

But Stellantis will invest over $200 million in three of its Indiana plants. This is to help them reach the gold of achieving 40 percent low-emission vehicle sales in the United States by 2030. The Jeep Cherokee 4xe could certainly help with that. Well, that’s if it goes hybrid.

Belvidere Assembly began making Dodge and Plymouth models back in 1965. Then it started making the Omnirizon compact car before being remodeled to produce the Dodge Dynasty and other models. They made the Neon and Caliber after that.

In 2016, $350 million was invested to begin producing the Cherokee. Production of the Cherokee was moved from Toledo and began in June 2017.

What’s new for the Cherokee?

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee parked in a stream
2021 Jeep Cherokee | Jeep

The 2022 Jeep Cherokee is part of the second Cherokee generation introduced for 2014. Pricing is expected to begin at around $27,890. While it is aging, it’s enticing buyers with more standard comfort and luxury features on each trim.

With the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, you get 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. Upgrade to the 3.2-liter V6 engine for 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. It provides plenty of power and smooth performance.

A 7-inch infotainment system comes standard, but you can upgrade to an 8.4-inch unit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. You can add satellite radio, USB ports in the rear, and a nin-speaker premium audio system.

The Cherokee may receive more love in the future. The Renegade is also due for upgrades. Until then, the Cherokee is still a well-rounded vehicle that can take various terrain.

RELATED: Is The Jeep Renegade Or Jeep Cherokee Better?