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$266 million for new transmissions

by David Zatz on

Chrysler is spending another $266 million to boost production in its Indiana transmission plants, with demand for eight speed automatics continually growing. The need is especially great with strong sales of diesel and V6 Rams, and rumors of an upcoming eight-speed Wrangler.


The Kokomo Perspective wrote that the money would be spent on two of the Kokomo plants’ lines, to expand eight-speed production. The city council is expected to unanimously approve a ten year tax abatement on property tax for the investment, which appears to involve adding and not replacing equipment.

The Perspective quoted UAW Local 685 president Carl Greenwood as saying that 85 employees were added last week; he pointed out that two Indiana natives, Brian Harlow and Brad Clark, run Chrysler’s drivetrain division. He also said that Chrysler wanted 8,000 more eight-speeds this month than were produced in November, and that they were likely to meet that goal, partly through overtime.

The Kokomo Transmission Plant was overhauled in 2012, and the group of factories has now produced over a million eight-speeds. This move bolsters Chrysler’s total Kokomo investment since 2009 to $1.5 billion. According to the Perspective, “Kokomo is the world’s largest producer of transmissions.”

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