Auto Analysts Expect EV Charger and Challenger Production to Go to Illinois
Although no plan has been announced, auto analysts predict that Stellantis will move production of electric Dodge Chargers and Challenger to the Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant in 2024.
Current gasoline models are built in Brampton, Ontario.
“Every forecasting company we chat with on a regular basis has pretty much said it does,” said Greg Layson, digital and mobile producer for Automotive News Canada, adding that the companies are almost never wrong.
“These analytics companies have deep-rooted sources within automakers. They oversee production, decision-making, and product planning far deeper than anyone in the mainstream media would.”
Stellantis did not respond to CBC News requests for comment.
Layson said this sets up a scenario where no products will be manufactured at the Brampton Assembly Plant after 2024.
He said the Unifor union in Canada and United Auto Workers in the United States will both negotiate with the Detroit 3 in 2023, so the competition for a commitment to a new product will be fierce.
“So that sets up a huge game almost like the Hunger Games, as the unions try to win new products in the respective states and provinces south and north of the border,” Layson said.
He said it would make good business sense for Stellantis to locate production there, especially if the United States implements a plan to incent Americans to buy electric vehicles built in the United States.
However, automotive journalist Kay Layne doesn’t think the decision to move vehicle production is a done deal.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but this bridge is very fragile. It’s very wobbly. I’m not quite willing to cross it,” Layne said.
Layson said if the Brampton plant was idle, it could revert to producing batteries for the auto industry. Stellantis has yet to announce the location of a second battery plant in North America. One is already scheduled to go to the United States.
Layne agrees it’s too early to rule out Brampton.
“I don’t think they’re ready to talk about closing the doors,” Layne said.