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Chrysler to put $43M into Kokomo expansion

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group will be expanding operations at its Kokomo Casting and Kokomo Transmission plants. The automaker will spend $43 million on new equipment and tooling and create 399 new positions. Of those jobs, 379 will be filled by employees recalled from layoffs and 20 will be new hires in supervisory roles.

The expansion is needed to support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program. The 62TE transmission is used in the Chrysler Sebring, Sebring Convertible and Town & Country; and the Dodge Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan.

“As Chrysler Group works to implement the very robust business plan outlined on Nov. 4, 2009, our facilities in Kokomo will play an integral role in achieving those objectives,” said Scott Garberding, Senior Vice President and Head of Manufacturing, Chrysler Group LLC. “This investment will keep our facilities at the forefront of innovation and advanced technology.

“We want to thank the City of Kokomo for approving our tax abatement request and their continued support,” said Garberding.

“Over the past several years, Chrysler has shown a continued commitment to investing in Kokomo, allowing our plants to stay on the cutting edge of automotive technology,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “This investment is great news for Chrysler, and it’s great news for our community.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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