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New transmissions on the way

by David Zatz on

dual clutch automatic

Chrysler will invest $843 million into the Kokomo transmission plant to build a new automatic transmission for future front wheel drive vehicles, if the Kokomo City Council approves a tax abatement application. The company would also modernize the casting plant and both transmission plants; together, Chrysler employes around 2,200 people in the area.

The new transmission might be the long-awaited Chrysler-and-ZF-engineered dual-clutch automatic. Past rumors pegged the automatic at seven speeds, but more recent announcements indicate it may have nine — though some of these may be “kickdown gears” as used in existing and past Chrysler automatics. Minivans and cars are both expected to use the new transmissions.

Update: Indiana Transmission Plant I currently makes the 545RFE five-speed truck/Jeep transmission, and the 68RFE heavy duty engine used with the Cummins diesel. Indiana Transmission Plant II makes the Mercedes five-speed automatic under (an expensive) license. Kokomo Casting makes aluminum parts including transmission and transaxle cases. The eight-speed automatic will be produced at Kokomo, and the 62TE transmission assembly processes are to be “improved” (presumably to increase capacity.)

[Courtesy of the Freep — thanks to KCP Worker.]

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