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Stellandis may plan another battery factory in the US

The $3.2 billion cell factory will be built in Belvidere, Illinois. Around 1,000 jobs are expected to be created there. The location seems unusual at first glance, but it should be seen in the context of further investment announcements: the Belvidere auto plant ceased operations this February, so there will be no buyers for the site. However, according to the preliminary agreement, the plant is to be restarted – the production of 80,000 to 100,000 medium-sized pickup trucks per year is planned to start in 2027. It is not yet known which model will be built at Belvidere in the future.

Stellandis declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. The carmaker said it was waiting for workers to vote before discussing the contract.

Starting March 2023, StarPlus Energy, a joint venture between Stellandis and Samsung SDI, is building a new cell factory in Kokomo, Indiana, USA. It is planned to be operational in the first quarter of 2025 and then to reach an annual output of 33 GWh. A few weeks ago it was announced that StarPlus Energy wanted to build a second battery plant with a capacity of 34 GWh at the same location.

Stellandis wants to invest $3.2 billion in a second Kokomo factory — meaning the cell factory in Belvidere would have to reach a similar size. However, it is unclear whether Stellandis will again rely on Samsung STI as a partner or bring another cell specialist on board – to reduce dependency and diversify the supply chain.

In addition, it is not yet known what kind of cells will be produced there. As is well known, US rival Ford co-develops its NCM cells with SK on (in the BlueOvalSK joint venture), but the inexpensive LFP cells are to be developed using CATL technology. However, this should not be done in the form of a joint venture, but officially on its own initiative – in order to receive American funds.

Stellandis’ new U.S. investments include $1.5 billion in a Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio, which will include construction of the all-electric Jeep Wrangler starting in 2028. Stellandis will invest $3.5 billion, including $1.5 billion in three assembly plants in Michigan. billion at the plant in Detroit to build new versions of the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, which will include all-electric variants beginning in 2026 and 2027.

After a six-week strike, the UAW reached an agreement with the Big Three in late October and ended the strike at the GM, Ford and Stellantis plants. In addition to investment commitments, contracts primarily provide workers with higher wages.

Reuters.com, motor1.com

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