At the end of February, Stellantis idled the assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois where it used to make the Jeep Cherokee. The drastic decision meant that 1,200 workers had to be laid off, without any promises of a future job. Thankfully, the situation has now taken a turn for the better following the automotive conglomerate’s new tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers.
In an official statement published on YouTube, the UAW’s Vice President Rich Boyer shared the good news: “UAW family, it is… my great honor to announce that we have saved Belvidere. Again, we have saved Belvidere… We have won a new vehicle at Belvidere…it will be a midsize truck, and we will have two shifts.”
2024 Ram Rampage Rebel
Even before restarting production at the factory, those who had been laid off are going to receive benefits. They’ll be put back on temporary layoff with pay and healthcare until they are reinstated at their jobs. It gets better as the UAW’s VP added that Stellantis will create more than 1,000 jobs at a new battery plant in Belvidere.
This is where the speculation begins as it’s unclear what sort of pickup Stellantis will build at Belvidere. The first thought that crosses our minds is the Ram Rampage that’s already in production in Brazil at a factory located in Pernambuco. It has been spotted repeatedly testing on U.S. soil. However, that might not be the one since the Rampage is technically a compact truck in the same vein as the Ford Maverick.
With UAW’s VP talking about the midsize truck and a battery plant, putting two and two together suggests the pickup will also be offered as a hybrid and/or EV. Consequently, perhaps it’ll ride on the STLA Large platform, which would imply a unibody construction whereas the bigger Ram 1500 REV sits on the STLA Frame.
One of the four electric-centric platforms developed by Stellantis, STLA Large will underpin vehicles varying in length from 185 to 212.6 inches. Battery size will start at 101 and increase to 118 kWh, delivering as much as 500 miles of range on a single charge.
Whatever the case may be, the truck will be offered with a gasoline engine as UAW President UAW President Shawn Fain declared: “We are bringing both combustion vehicle and battery jobs to Belvidere.”
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