Jan 13, 2023
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Illinois wants Ram to build the 1500 REV in the idled Belvidere plant
The facility built its last Cherokee in February 2023


State officials can pull a number of levers to convince companies to build cars within their boundaries; some fast-track permit applications (this is particularly common for new factories), while others promise big tax incentives (Tesla may get $330 million in tax breaks over the next two decades for expanding the plant that it operates on the outskirts of Reno, Nevada). It sounds like Illinois is taking the latter route.

"I've heard it's an astronomical amount of money. I'd be shocked if they turn it down. But, I think [that] at the end of the day, if they don't accept it, in my mind, that tells me they don't want to do business in Illinois," UAW Local 1268 President Kevin Logan told Automotive News.

Ram hasn't revealed its cards, at least not publicly, and parent company Stellantis hasn't said much about Belvidere's future. Mark Stewart, the chief operating officer of Stellantis North America, stressed that his team is looking at different ways to repurpose the facility now that the Cherokee has retired without a planned successor. He didn't provide additional details, but he noted the plant is "idle, not closed."

If state officials get their way, the 1500 REV will be the second electric truck built in Illinois; Rivian makes the R1T and the R1S in a former Mitsubishi factory located about two hours south in Normal. Belvidere isn't the only candidate for 1500 REV production, however. Ram could also build the truck near Detroit in the Sterling Heights, Michigan, factory that currently makes the quad- and crew-cab variants of the 1500.

We expect to learn more about Ram's plan in the coming months.