October 31, 2023

Duckworth: Stellantis could be the beginning of big companies choosing Illinois to set up shop

Source: WREX


Thousands of people across the Stateline are still celebrating early reports that new life will come to Belvidere's assembly plant. Over the last weekend in October, leaked parts of the deal between the UAW and Stellantis show Belvidere will manufacture a new truck and battery starting sometime in late 2026 or early 2027.

Senator Tammy Duckworth talked one-on-one with WREX on Tuesday to talk about the impacts of the deal. She spent time echoing what many had said about the impact this singular deal will bring to the Stateline and to Illinois as a whole, but has a much bigger focus on the momentum this could bring in the coming years.

Duckworth says she's spent a lot of the last year overseas trying to convince companies to call The Land of Lincoln there home, and has confidence more businesses are putting Illinois at the top of their list.

"I've made multiple trips now to Japan, Taiwan, to Korea to talk to companies like Samsung and SK, I mean LG moved into Decatur because of a biofuels industry, Panasonic is looking to open a new battery manufacturing plant and they're looking to get rare earths out of Canada, and I was talking to them and was like well you're going to have to ship them by train, where's the first place in the U.S. the train comes in? Rockford, Illinois," Duckworth said.

Duckworth specifically thinks Illinois stands out when it comes to sustainable energy and electric vehicles as Stellantis marks another big win for EVs in the state, one that could mean major momentum going forward.

"We can bring that battery plant here to Illinois, that is critical not just for the Belvidere Plant with the G product, but also we're talking about Rivian, you've got the electric school busses with Lion Electric so that's critical as well," Duckworth said. "Once you start attracting one company, more and more come, and we'll become that center for EV manufacturing."

The UAW members have to vote on the contract before it becomes official. The vote is expected to come in the next couple weeks.


By:  William Ingalls