DETROIT — Stellantis North America is offering buyouts to pension-eligible salaried U.S. employees, a move the automaker says will help align its business priorities while transitioning to a lineup of electrified vehicles.
To be eligible, workers must be at least 55 years old and have been with the company for 30 years or at least 58 with 10 years of experience. Because they already meet the necessary conditions to retire, acceptance of an offer would not be considered early retirement.
It's unclear whether the company has a target for how many employees it wants to accept buyouts. The automaker, formed in January after the merger between PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, wouldn't provide further details beyond the following statement:
"Stellantis is aggressively moving forward on its journey to become the market leader in low emission vehicles. We are off to a strong start with our recent string of battery plant announcements, investments in powertrain operations, onboarding of engineering and software talent as well as the introduction of exciting vehicles, like the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and the soon to come Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe. To assist in our transition, and to align our business priorities to a new set of critical skills and investment opportunities, Stellantis North America is offering a voluntary retirement program to eligible members of our team."
Stellantis in October announced joint venture deals with Samsung SDI and LG Energy Solution to open battery plants in North America. The company has set a goal of having electrified vehicles account for at least 40 percent of its U.S. sales by 2030.
In another EV-related development last month, Stellantis said it was investing $229 million to retool three Indiana plants to build a new flexible eight-speed transmission that can be used in both electrified and internal combustion vehicles.
The Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting and Indiana Transmission plants will be key cogs in the automaker's electrification strategy. Stellantis is investing $35 billion through 2025 in electrification and software and plans to have four electric vehicle platforms that support driving ranges of 300 to 500 miles.
The company's EV game plan calls for it to control the value chain, which includes battery sourcing. The automaker said this summer that it will produce batteries at five "gigafactories" — adopting Tesla's terminology — in Europe and North America.
Stellantis has a full slate of EVs in the pipeline, including an electric Ram 1500 pickup coming in 2024 to challenge rivals that will include the GMC Hummer EV and Ford F-150 Lightning. Dodge has a battery-electric muscle car in the works for 2024, and Jeep plans to debut its first fully electric model in 2023.