As if the pandemic didn’t affect the automotive industry enough in 2020, it is continuing to give automakers issues going into 2021. With a global shortage of semiconductor chips, several automakers are scrambling to keep their manufacturing capabilities going.
Semiconductors are the backbone of today’s automotive industry, controlling electronic features like driver-assist technologies, hybrid-electric systems, and even infotainment connectivity. With that being said, the semiconductor shortage has now affected production for several Stellantis North America vehicles.
Stellantis North America announced on Monday, that production of the midsized Jeep® Cherokee at the company’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois would be idled. While Stellantis hasn’t said how long the plant would be down for, the Facebook page of the United Auto Workers Local 1268, which represents the hourly workforce at the plant says production should resume on February 15th.
The Belvidere Assembly Plant isn’t the only Stellantis plant being affected. Stellantis has also idled its Windsor, Ontario, Canada plant which builds the popular Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager, and Chrysler Grand Caravan minivans for three weeks. The shutdown started on Monday, February 8th, with production scheduled to start back up on March 1st according to Unifor, the Canadian union representing the plant.
The Brampton Assembly Plant which builds the Chrysler 300 Series, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger has already been idle throughout January due to the chip shortage. This came just as the popular 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody was just finding its way into dealer showrooms.
Stellantis’ Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico, also recently extended its downtime due to the shortage, however, has since returned to work. The Toluca plant is home to the popular Jeep Compass for the North American region.