CHICAGO – President Joe Biden was in Belvidere Thursday afternoon to celebrate Stellantis’ decision to bring the shuttered assembly plant back online.
The automaker is expected to invest nearly $5 billion to prepare the plant to build what could be a hybrid midsize SUV, although the make and model hasn’t been decided yet. Some of that money will go toward building a parts distribution center and a brand new E-V battery factory next door.
“When the plant was idled in February, it just sort of cut the heart out of the economy,” said 11th District U.S. Representative Bill Foster, who credited the robust incentive package offered to Stellantis and pressure from the UAW with paving the way for this move.
The Stellantis assembly plant officially closed in March 2023.
“It’ll be a huge deal for the region in that you’ll have nearly 4000 jobs created here and some of those jobs could start to be created early next year,” said White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt.
LaBolt sayid around 2500 of those jobs will be making mid-sized SUVs and another 1300 will be next door building electric batteries at a brand new E-V battery factory.
Foster said the local effort to secure the acres of the land for that facility played a huge role in Stellantis’s decision.
“That was crucial. Because a modern automobile factory typically has the battery factory right next to the car factory,” he said.
The White House said the President’s visit to Illinois is to celebrate a big victory for local autoworkers.
“Auto companies have made record profits in the last few years and the president wanted to make sure the workers building the cars of the future get the wages and benefits that they deserve,” said LaBolt.
Stellantis is expected to get the assembly operational in 2025, with the new E-V battery plant expected to be up and running by 2028. The exact vehicle that’s going to be produced is still to be decided.
After his visit to Belvidere, President Biden will stop in Chicago at 2 p.m.