Stellantis builds another battery factory in the US
The cell factory worth 3.2 billion US dollars will be built in Belvidere in the US state of Illinois. Around 1,000 jobs will be created there. The location seems unusual at first glance but must be seen in the context of further investment announcements: The Belvidere vehicle plant ceased operations this February, so there would be no takers locally. However, the plant is to be restarted following the provisional agreement – production of 80,000 to 100,000 mid-size pickup trucks per year will begin there in 2027. It is not yet known which model will be built in Belvidere.
Stellantis did not wish to comment when asked by Reuters. According to the car manufacturer, they will wait until the workers have voted before discussing the deal.
StarPlus Energy, a joint venture between Stellantis and Samsung SDI, has been building a cell factory in Kokomo in the US state of Indiana since March 2023. It will be operational in the first quarter of 2025 and will have a production capacity of 33 GWh per year. A few weeks ago, StarPlus Energy announced plans to build a second battery plant with a total capacity of 34 GWh at the same location.
Stellantis plans to invest 3.2 billion dollars in the second Kokomo factory – which means that the cell factory in Belvidere is likely to be similar in size. However, it remains to be seen whether Stellantis will again rely on Samsung SDI as a partner or bring another cell expert on board to reduce dependency and diversify the supply chain.
It is also unknown what type of cells will be manufactured there. US competitor Ford is known to build its NCM cells in cooperation with SK On (in the BlueOvalSK joint venture), but the low-cost LFP cells will be built using CATL technology. However, this will not be in the form of a joint venture but officially on their own – to obtain US subsidies.
Stellantis’ new investments in the USA include USD 1.5 billion in the Jeep plant in Toledo (Ohio), including constructing an all-electric Jeep Wrangler from 2028. Stellantis will also invest USD 3.5 billion in three assembly plants in Michigan, including USD 1.5 billion in a plant in Detroit to build new versions of the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, including all-electric variants from 2026 and 2027.
The UAW reached an agreement with the ‘big three’ at the end of October, ending a six-week strike at GM, Ford and Stellantis plants. In addition to investment commitments, the agreements primarily provide for higher wages for the workers.