Stellantis plans to invest $4.8 billion in Belvidere
The tentative deal between the United Auto Workers and Stellantis could make much more sense for the Belvidere assembly plant than previously envisioned.
The company, which produces Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep, plans to invest $4.8 billion in Belvedere to not only reopen the existing facility there as a $100 million parts distribution center, but is also considering building a new assembly plant and battery factory.
“The plan they’re trying to push is to build a new assembly plant, a new battery plant, and then renovate the existing plant and make it a PDC (parts distribution center),” said Matt Franzen, president of UAW Local 1268. “So I don’t know if they’re going to reduce the footprint, you know, of the old assembly plant.”
Frantzen said workers displaced by cuts and layoffs at Belvedere will have the right to return to their original factory. When the company shut down the Belvedere plant in February, 1,200 workers were laid off.
Frantzen said the company plans to renovate the existing factory into a spare parts distribution center starting next year. It plans to build a $3.2 billion “joint venture” battery production facility that will launch in 2028 in Belvedere. There are also plans to invest $1.5 billion to build a second new facility in Belvidere to produce up to 100,000 units per year of the unnamed mid-size truck starting in 2027.
more:Stellantis and UAW agreement promises new life for Belvidere plant. Here’s what’s next
State and local officials, including the Northern Illinois Land Bank and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, obtained an option to purchase 300 acres west of the Belvidere Assembly Plant to build the new facilities. It is among a package of tax and cash incentives used to attract investment from Stellantis in Belvedere.
UAW officials also praise the “stand-up strike” for convincing Stellantis to invest in Belvidere, where workers won awards for quality and reliability.
The UAW reached a tentative agreement that meant a 25% wage increase and the return of cost-of-living adjustments in the event of inflation. Local union members will learn more details about the proposal on Tuesday and can vote on whether to ratify it on Thursday. UAW members across the country are expected to vote on whether to ratify the agreement by November 19.
“When we began these negotiations, we were committed to saving Belvedere,” national union leaders said in a written statement. “We fought hard to get the product back to that plant. We knew we needed a vehicle in Belvedere to get the assembly plant back. What we didn’t know was how much profit we would make.”
Jeff Kolky He can be reached at (815) 987-1374, via email at email@example.com and on Twitter @jeffkulkki