In what seems to be becoming a routine occurrence, Stellantis has once again temporarily laid-off employees at several of its North American facilities due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. The semiconductor shortage continues to hit the automotive industry hard and it doesn’t seem to be getting better anytime soon according to the latest news reports. Semiconductors have become the backbone of today’s automotive industry, controlling electronic features like driver-assist technologies, hybrid-electric systems, and even infotainment connectivity.
A letter was sent to employees at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP), which is now part of the Detroit Assembly Complex on Detroit’s east side, about a week-long temporary layoff that will start this next week. A copy of the letter was obtained by MoparInsiders.com on Friday evening from plant employees, which you can see below.
The JNAP facility currently manufactures the popular Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WK2) and Dodge Durango (WD) sport utility models. The 3-million square-foot plant employees 5,155 (4,888 hourly, 267 salaried) on a 3-2-120 operating pattern.
Stellantis will also extend the shutdown of the Windsor Assembly Plant (WAP), which builds the Chrysler brand’s successful lineup of minivans – the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Grand Caravan (Canada market), and Chrysler Voyager (U.S. market).
The WAP facility has faced several shutdowns recently. After being idled throughout the end of March and all of June, the plant returned to production in early July. WAP then had a scheduled summer shutdown for the weeks of August 16th and 23rd. Employees were then notified that production for the weeks of August 30th and September 6th, would continue to be shut down due to ongoing semiconductor shortages. That was extended for the weeks of September 13th and 20th.
On Thursday, Unifor union reps were notified that employees would not be returning back to work on September 27th, due to the continued shortages. The extended notice had several WAP employees express their frustrations on social media. Stellantis like many other automakers have told most of their blue-collar workforce that scheduling was being released on a week-to-week basis, early in the semiconductor crisis.
The increased downtime means that not one minivan was produced during the entire month of September, a huge blow to the Chrysler brand and its dealer body.
WAP currently has a workforce of 4,398 employees (4,213 hourly, 185 salaried) on two shifts.
UAW officials were notified on Thursday, that the Belvidere Assembly Plant (BAP) in Illinois will shut down on Monday, September 27th. The plant currently produces the slow-selling Jeep Cherokee (KL) and to the combination of slow sales and the semiconductor shortage, the Belvidere plant has been the Stellantis plant most affected by the ongoing situation. Employees are expected to return to work on Monday, October 4th.
“Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry,” a Stellantis spokesperson told MoparInsiders via e-mail.