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Chrysler Kokomo investment (from November)

by Bill Cawthon on

Note: while Chrysler re-posted this release on their media site, Larry V. reminded us that it was first posted on November 23, 2010.

Chrysler confirmed its plan to invest $843 million to modernize and update its transmission and casting plants in Kokomo, Indiana. The investment will extend the lives of the plants, and keep nearly 2,250 people working on a new, advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles (most likely the nine-speed automatic discussed in earlier announcements).

Chrysler Group will be again partner with Germany-based ZF Group on the transmission.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler, said, “When introduced, this new [nine-speed] front-wheel drive transmission, along with the previously announced eight-speed transmission we will also produce in Kokomo, will transform our future products and position them as leaders in marketplace.

“With the promise of investing more than $1 billion into our Kokomo facilities within the last six months, we are demonstrating our commitment to this community and our dedicated workforce,” Marchionne said. “We appreciate the support of the UAW and the City of Kokomo, and look forward to continuing a partnership that will see the Chrysler Group once again become a successful and competitive enterprise.”

This will bring Chrysler’s total investment in U.S. facilities to nearly $3 billion since June 2009.

When combined with $343 million in previously announced investments in Kokomo facilities, this new investment would make the City of Kokomo the recipient of the largest investment — $1.1 billion – in a single year in a single community.

Confirmation of the actual investments are pending the Kokomo City Council’s approval of Chrysler Group’s tax abatement application filed on Dec. 13, 2010.

The Indiana Transmission Plant currently produces the transmission for Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Dakota and Ram Trucks and 68 RFE for diesel trucks. Indiana Transmission Plant II produces the W5A580 5-speed transmission. The Kokomo Casting Plant manufactures aluminum parts for automotive components, transmission and transaxle cases.

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 just-auto.com, 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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