Stellantis NV is indefinitely laying off 150 workers producing the Jeep Cherokee crossover, the transatlantic automaker said Tuesday.

The job cuts are happening at the company’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in north-central Illinois more than a month after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and French rival Groupe PSA merged. Belvidere employs 3,374 hourly and 206 salaried workers on two shifts, according to the company’s website. The layoffs come in response to falling demand of the little sister to the larger, top-selling Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Stellantis NV is laying off 150 workers at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois in response to declining demand for the Jeep Cherokee crossover. (Photo: Courtesy of FCA US LLC)

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“The Stellantis plant in Belvidere, Ill., is rebalancing its staffing levels as it realigns production to meet global demand for the Jeep Cherokee,” company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement. “Following a review of its operations, 150 people will be indefinitely laid off, starting Feb. 20, 2021. The Company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority.”

A United Auto Workers spokesman did not immediately have a comment. Representatives at UAW Local 1268, which represents the plant’s workers, could not be reached.

Cherokee sales fell 29% year-over-year in 2020 to 135,855 vehicles, a larger decline than any other Jeep vehicle still in production as the COVID-19 pandemic took a 14% hit to the adventure brand’s sales.

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