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Kokomo plant expansion signals new transmissions

by David Zatz on

Chrysler is reportedly investing in Kokomo plants to build a new advanced automatic transmission – possibly the heavy duty eight-speed rumored to be destined for diesel trucks and SRT8 cars. The company is, according to the Kokomo Tribune, asking the Kokomo Common Council for a tax abatement to help them cover an investment of $300 million, for adding new equipment to the Kokomo Casting Plant and Indiana Transmission Plant I.

Chrysler’s Jodi Tinson sent the Tribune a release saying that:

Although an application has been filed, Chrysler Group has no announcement regarding its operations in Kokomo and continues to study a variety of options to support the robust product plan outlined on Nov. 4, 2009. The company appreciates the support of the city of Kokomo and looks forward to continuing a partnership that will see the Chrysler Group once again become a successful and competitive enterprise.

The newspaper noted that last month, Chrysler asked for an abatement on property taxes for $43 million worth of new machinery for the transmission plant, an investment that is adding or restoring nearly 400 jobs. That investment is letting Kokomo build more six-speed automatic transmissions (62TE) for the Sebring/Avenger, Journey, and minivans, allowing Chrysler to phase out the four-speed automatics. (Current rumors suggest that the 2011 minivans will use the Pentastar engines exclusively with the six-speed automatic, dropping the four-speed.) The equipment boosts production at Kokomo from 440,000 to 531,000 transmissions per year.

(Thanks, KCP Worker, for the tip)

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