Automobile

Downtime extended for Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler minivans

Stellantis has lengthened the shutdowns of its Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler minivan plants into mid-May because of the global semiconductor shortage.

The Cherokee plant in Belvidere, Ill., will remain down through the middle of the month, Stellantis said in a statement issued Thursday. The Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario, which makes the Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager, will be down through the second week of May, the statement said.

Meanwhile, production of the Jeep Compass in Toluca, Mexico, has resumed.

“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 the statement.

In addition to the Cherokee and minivan plants, the Ram 1500 Classic plant in Warren, Mich., remains offline. The plant is preparing to begin building the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs in June.

Production resumed April 19 at the company’s assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, that makes the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger and Challenger.

Stellantis CFO Richard Palmer said this week on the company’s first-quarter earnings call that he expects the shortage to ease in the second half of the year but that it would be naive to expect the problem to disappear entirely.

“It is possible that it will leak into 2022,” Palmer said.

Stellantis, formed in January by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group, said this week that North American vehicle shipments in the first quarter declined 4.2 percent from a year earlier, though its revenue in the region rose 9 percent.

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