The Stellantis Belvidere Assembly Plant isn’t the only one of the automaker’s facilities facing layoffs. Stellantis has announced that it would be cutting its entire night shift at its Sochaux Assembly Plant in France at the beginning of April.
Currently, the French facility produced around 1,200 units of Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUVs a day. The elimination of the third shift means that the plant will lose about one-third of its production capacity.
French unions representing the workers at the plant are not entirely surprised by the news. They knew that there had been a drop in demand for the aging SUVs, but did not expect such a sharp cut in production, as well as the elimination of an entire shift.
The recent decline in sales is mainly explained by the current automotive market. Thanks to growing inflation and interest rates on the global scale, the market has been declining rather than growing. Also, Stellantis continues to suffer from logistical problems which have caused almost a 5.5% decrease in sales in the region.
The union and workers are now asking themselves what will become of the 750 employees who currently work the third shift. Some of them were hired on a permanent contract, while others are only temporary.
The Sochaux Assembly Plant employs about 2,700 production workers (1,000 of which are temporary workers). Now keep in mind, that the third shift had never had any interruption in the past 6 years, except during the COVID-19 lockdown and in 2022 due to the shortage of semiconductors.