Friday, March 1, 2013

Chrysler to boost transmission production with $374M investment

Chrysler announced on Thursday plans to invest $374 million in its north-central Indiana transmission complex. Chrysler will use the cash to ready three-plants – Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting and Indiana Transmission – for production of the automaker's latest eight- and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

Chrysler will begin the factory updates during the second quarter, with the first of the plants expected to be up and running by late 2013. Chrysler's recently purchased former Getrag plant, which will exclusively make the automaker's new nine-speed box, will begin production by Q1 of 2014.

“Our investments in Kokomo and Tipton are a tribute to the character of the men and women of Chrysler who survived a near-fatal experience and have embraced the challenge of building an enterprise that is able to compete with the best in the world,” said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. “Our powertrain team has consistently demonstrated the ability and the willingness to think in unconventional ways in order to exceed expectations.”

The investment is expected to create about 1,250 new jobs.

Chrysler's eight-speed transmission is currently used in the automaker's full-size sedans and Ram pickup trucks. The new nine-speed unit, which is designed for front-drive applications, will debut in Jeep's all-new Cherokee before spreading to the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200.

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