Stellantis has announced that it will suspend production at its Melfi Assembly Plant in Italy due to a “structural” shortage of semiconductor chips. The decision comes as the automotive industry continues to fight a shortage of semiconductors due to a global shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the automaker, the plant will be idled from Tuesday, June 28th to Saturday, July 2nd. The facility manufacturers the Jeep® Renegade (BV), Jeep Compass (BU), and Fiat 500X (FD). Both the Renegade and 500X for the North American market come from the facility, while the Renegade and Compass e-Hybrid and 4xe models for Europe are produced there along with the new 500X Hybrid.
The Renegade and Compass 4xe models have been strong sellers for the Jeep brand across Europe, especially in the Italian marketplace.
“We do not expect stabilization until the end of 2022,” a Stellantis spokesperson said in a press release. The announcement comes after shutdowns at other Stellantis European facilities, like the Rennes Assembly Plant and the extended shutdown at the Sochaux Assembly Plant, both located in France.
Rumors have stated that the Melfi plant will undergo a revamp in 2024, where it will adopt four new electric cars based on the new STLA Medium architecture. All four vehicles will be available as battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) only, one of which will the new Opel Manta and at least one other vehicle will be for the Lancia brand. It is unknown where the production of the Renegade, Compass, and 500X will be moved to. The Compass is manufactured elsewhere in Mexico, Brazil, and China, while the Renegade is produced in Brazil and China.
It is rumored that 500X will be replaced with a new B-UV that will be a BEV-only entry, blending both the 500X and the new 500e. Rumors have that vehicle being called either the 500XL or 600.