A Detroit paper said today’s Stellantis news meant “speculation immediately turned” to the company’s plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. But Illinois and Belvidere also are competing.

Multiple, independent sources with first-hand knowledge report Illinois has put on a major push for the facility, with talks intensifying and near-daily communication among officials here and in Stellantis.

Illinois’ prospects are said to have been improved by General Assembly approval in January of a major new incentive package for EV producers and part-makers. Included was the creation of a $400 million “deal closing fund” that gives Gov. J.B. Pritzker wide discretion in putting extra cash on the table to lure manufacturers.

Michigan’s recent decision to repeal its right-to-work law also may be a plus, because it equalizes the field between the two states on labor law. And officials in Boone County, where Belvidere is located, have signaled a willingness to consider property tax rebates, sources report.

Stellantis has not given details on exactly what the new Ram factory will entail. But CEO Carlos Tavares told reporters at the New York auto show that the company wants to build its 2025 Ram model in the U.S.

Insiders say Illinois also is in the running for another major EV facility, but details of that are not yet available.

Crain’s Chicago Business is an affiliate of Automotive News.

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