Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, Dodge, and others, is providing a voluntary buyout option to around half of its non-union white-collar employees in the United States. The decision comes as the company prepares for the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), driven by tax credits introduced by President Joe Biden’s administration. The buyouts are part of Stellantis’ effort to manage costs amid the Biden green energy agenda, which involves rapidly transforming the American auto industry to EVs, despite the limited demand for EVs among American consumers.
According to Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson, the company is taking necessary steps to safeguard its operations and business in response to the challenging market conditions faced by the US automotive industry. She emphasized that the voluntary separation package will assist non-union employees who wish to leave the company to pursue other interests, with a package of favorable benefits. Tinson further reiterated the company’s commitment to executing its Dare Forward 2030 strategy, which entails launching eight new electric vehicles by 2024.
Employees interested in accepting the buyout offer will have until the second week of December to make a decision. The announcement follows Stellantis’ recent agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which resulted in wage increases, cost-of-living allowances, and the right to strike when the automaker shuts down a plant. In exchange, Stellantis, General Motors (GM), and Ford have committed substantial investments to support Biden’s EV transition. Stellantis specifically plans to construct an EV battery plant in Belvidere, Illinois, creating approximately 1,300 American jobs. Additionally, the company intends to produce several all-electric versions of its existing models at plants in Toledo, Ohio, Warren and Sterling Heights, Michigan, and Detroit, Michigan.
While Stellantis and other automakers collaborate with the Biden administration to fulfill EV goals, concerns persist among American auto workers. Many fear inadequate wages and potential job loss due to the EV initiatives, which they believe could result in outsourcing to China. The auto workers’ apprehension stems from China’s control over critical components of the EV battery supply chain. Approximately 70 percent of the world’s lithium, 95 percent of manganese, 73 percent of cobalt, 70 percent of graphite, and 63 percent of nickel are currently controlled by China, making coordination with the country almost unavoidable for American automakers in their battery production.
Overall, Stellantis’ buyout offer aims to aid the company’s transition to EVs while addressing concerns of affected employees, who might choose to explore alternative opportunities. As the automotive industry evolves, Stellantis remains dedicated to executing its future plans and contributing to the accelerated adoption of electric vehicles.