Challengers gain edge over incumbents in UAW election of top leaders

Microchip shortage extends downtime for Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler minivan plants

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Plants assembling the Jeep Cherokee SUV and Chrysler minivans will idle for additional weeks due to the global semiconductor shortage, Stellantis NV said Thursday.

Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois, home to the Cherokee, will be down through the middle of May. Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario, which makes the minivans, will be down through the second week of the month. Production at Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico, which produces the Jeep Compass SUV, however, has resumed.

Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois, home to the Jeep Cherokee, will be down through the middle of May.

"Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry," spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement.

The additional downtime comes after Richard Palmer, Stellantis' chief financial officer, this week said the impact of the shortage of the chips used in vehicle electronics from the steering wheel to the infotainment system is expected to be worse in the second quarter than in the first three months of the year. Stellantis lost about 190,000 vehicles, or 11% of planned production globally, during the first quarter.

The company hopes to see some relief in the third quarter as problems resulting from a March fire at a semiconductor plant in Japan and the February cold snap in Texas are resolved. But with limited visibility into the manufacturing of these parts deep in the supply chain, issues could extend into next year.

In addition to the plants in Belvidere and Windsor, Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which produces the Ram 1500 Classic pickup truck, is down through the reset of May. Crews also have been reduced at Jefferson North Assembly Plant, which builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble