Stellantis cites chip shortage in layoff of 200 at Indiana plant

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

The maker of Jeep SUVs and Chrysler minivans is eliminating a 200-person crew at its Tipton Transmission Plant in Indiana, citing decreased production due to the global microchip shortage.

Although the elimination of one crew is "permanent" at the plant employing 863 hourly employees, Stellantis NV is calling the layoff "voluntary and temporary" for production personnel as it expects most of the affected workers will be able to transfer to other plants, including the repurposed Kokomo Engine Plant. Following a $400 million investment, the former Indiana Transmission Plant II is scheduled to open by the end of the year about 23 miles away from Tipton with 200 new jobs.

Stellantis NV is calling the layoff "voluntary and temporary" for production personnel as it expects most of the affected workers will be able to transfer to other plants, including the repurposed Kokomo Engine Plant.

The layoffs in Tipton come after Stellantis announced last week about 400 job cuts set to happen in January at the Jeep Cherokee plant in Belvidere, Illinois. It also is eliminating a 1,800-person second shift in April at the Chrysler minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, because of the scarcity of semiconductors used in vehicle electronics like infotainment, heated seats and assisted driving functions.

"Tipton Transmission has reduced one crew of assembly due to lower volumes impacted by downtime and other production actions taken as a result of the global microchip shortage," spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement.

The job cuts come after workers assembling nine-speed transmissions fully returned this month after production was affected for several months, UAW Local 685 President Matt Jarvis said in a YouTube update at the end of October. Production of eight-speed transmissions had been cut back earlier this month, as well, as transmission racks filled while assembly plant production went up and down from the shortage.

The nine-speed transmissions are used in several Jeep crossovers, Chrysler minivans, Ram vans and Fiat vehicles.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble