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Sergio Marchionne stopped by Chrysler's transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Indiana and delivered some good news. The Chrysler Group plans to invest $843 million into the plants to modernize them and prepare for the production of a new front-wheel drive automatic transmission. This pushes the automakers total investment dollars near the $3 billion mark, dating back to June of 2009, with $1.1 billion of that earmarked specifically for the Kokomo facilities. More importantly, this announcement should have 2,250 employees breathing a little easier because it allows their jobs to be retained.

We know Chrysler is getting ready to launch its eight-speed transmission, but this new transmission in development has yet to be revealed.
"For years, Kokomo has been at the center of our powertrain strategy and the potential of an additional investment reaffirms that position," said Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group LLC. "When introduced, this new 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. 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."
New transmissions, more stable jobs and a new Charger? 2011 is certainly shaping up to be brighter than last year for the Pentastar.

[Source: Chrysler]
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Chrysler Group LLC Confirms Possible $843 Million Investment in Kokomo, Ind., Facilities to Produce Future Generation Front-Wheel Drive Transmission and Retain 2,250 U.S. Jobs
Chrysler Group's Indiana Transmission Plants and Kokomo Casting would be retooled and modernized
Largest investment in a single community in a year when combined with previously announced investments
Plant investment would help retain nearly U.S. 2,250 jobs
Company's total investment in U.S. facilities would climb to nearly $3 billion since June 2009


November 23, 2010 , Kokomo, Ind. -
Chrysler Group LLC confirms that it is looking to invest $843 million into the Company's existing transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Ind., to accommodate production of a new advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles. With this announcement, the Company's total investment in U.S. facilities would climb to nearly $3 billion since June 2009.

When combined with previously announced investments totaling $343 million in its Kokomo facilities, this potential new investment would make the City the recipient of the largest investment -- $1.1 billion – in a single year in a single community, pending the Kokomo City Council's approval of Chrysler Group's tax abatement application on Dec. 13, 2010. The investment would fund the installation of equipment and special tooling to modernize the Indiana Transmission Plants and the Kokomo Casting Plant. The project would extend the life of these manufacturing facilities and help retain nearly 2,250 jobs.

Chrysler Group will be partnering with Friedrichshafen, Germany-based ZF Group on the next generation front-wheel drive transmission, which is making its designs and technology available to the Company and its Kokomo plants.

"For years, Kokomo has been at the center of our powertrain strategy and the potential of an additional investment reaffirms that position," said Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group LLC. "When introduced, this new 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 investment announcement is more good news for our Indiana employees," said General Holiefield, Vice President and Director of the UAW Chrysler Department. "This action will give Chrysler a head-start on a new front-wheel drive transmission and will help secure the future for Chrysler UAW-represented employees."

The Indiana Transmission Plant currently produces the 45 RFE rear-wheel drive transmission for Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Dakota and Ram Trucks and 68 RFE for Cummins Diesel, Heavy Duty. Indiana Transmission Plant II produces the W5A580 5-speed transmission for the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Nitro and Dodge Charger. The Kokomo Casting Plant manufactures aluminum parts for automotive components, transmission and transaxle cases.

Earlier this year, Chrysler Group announced that it would invest a total of $343 million in its Kokomo facilities -- $43 million to increase capacity at the Company's Kokomo Casting and Kokomo Transmission plants, adapt them to support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program; and $300 million to accommodate a new highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles.

In addition to these investments, Chrysler Group has made significant progress toward building a successful enterprise since June 2009, including:

reporting an operating profit of $565 million for year-to-date 2010;
announcing a $600 million investment in its Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly plant;
an investment of $1 billion in its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly plant and surrounding stamping facilities as well as its GEMA (Dundee, Mich.) facility;
adding a second shift of production – or nearly 1,100 jobs – at its Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant;
announcing that it would add nearly 900 jobs on a second shift at its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant in the first quarter of 2011;
launching the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in May;
announcing that it will invest $179 million to launch production of the 1.4-liter, 16-valve Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) at the company's Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) plant in Dundee, Mich., creating more than 150 new Chrysler jobs.


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  • 36 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yo,the fiat companyt has done well under marchione and the models are a real jewel.the common rail diesel was invented by fiat and many other technological advances!!The fiat brand is not just fiat but also ferrari so please tell me if you will how much pasta and pizza slices does it take to make a ferrari???Bet you cant answer that one anyway!!ha!
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's going to take more than new transmissions to transform Chrysler's products.

      It is good to see Marchionne talking about actual car stuff right now instead of financial gimmickry.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And what do you think they are doing? This is just one piece of news.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought that the 9-speed trannies were for the FWD vehicles? 8-speed were for RWD? Or is this some combination of both?

      Anyway good news to see that Chrysler is doing well. :D
      • 4 Years Ago
      This must kill the Obama haters. If they had their way, the whole industry would have died. Why? We all know why they hate Obama. The other reason is that they hate unions. I guess at the end of the day, they hate America? Or, at least, 21st century America.

      Congrats to Chrylser & Michigan!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, while you can say Bush started the bailouts, his administration had no hand whatsoever in the restructuring efforts.

        I've made the point time and again, had Chrysler and GM been allowed to fail, Chinese companies would have been in there to scoop up pretty much all the assets. Including the intellectual property. At the very least, it would have represented a massive technology transfer.

        In some ways, it's a shame this good news couldn't have come before the midterms (I know many Indiana voters turned away from the Dems in frustration), but there's nothing here that can't be fixed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        George Bush's hand in the bailouts was a non factor. He handed out cash as a means of propping up these institutions so that they didn't fail on his watch. He had no plan, as a matter of fact he had no CLUE. He was just kicking the can down the road.

        Something tells me if a republican had done exactly what Obama did, he would be hailed as a genius, who deftly navigated the country through a near complete and utter failure of its beloved capitalist system.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I was simply pointing our your error that the bailouts were 100% Obama. They were not. They were started by Bush and carried on by Obama. "


        In such cases it's often useful to ask someone who reads a different press. We had the big 3 all over the news in Germany because if they had failed many many big suppliers would have failed too. You can imagine the impact on the German auto industry.

        So some representative of Bush has made it very clear on German TV that the bailout was started because Bush didn't want to close doors for someone who is already elected but not yet in office.

        We then had a series of examples how that is done in the US whenever you get a new president.

        I'm not saying Bush wanted to let them go bust. But your version is a distortion of the truth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Except that Bush started the auto bailouts.

        Funny how feel so threatened that you feel the need to insult your "enemy" without any fight even having been started.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Except that Bush started the auto bailouts."

        Funny how feel so threatened that you feel the need to insult your "enemy" without any fight even having been started.

        Oh yeah, anything bad is Obama. Anything good is Bush. Well, except to recession, wars, the bank bailouts, hmm, this could go on forever.

        And I'm not fighting. I feel an immense sense of schadenfraude.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Oh yeah, anything bad is Obama. Anything good is Bush. Well, except to recession, wars, the bank bailouts, hmm, this could go on forever. "

        Nope, you are making an unwarranted assumption that I believed the bailouts were good, and thus, that what Bush did was good.

        I never said, nor implied that. You did that all on your own.

        I was simply pointing our your error that the bailouts were 100% Obama. They were not. They were started by Bush and carried on by Obama.

        All of the above are objective facts - no opinions made nor implied.
      • 4 Years Ago
      it's always great news to hear about new investments in American towns and facilities. I, for one, am thankful this year the domestic auto companies are doing as well as they are. They have a long way to go in remaining profitable, but I'm totally sure they now will.
      • 4 Years Ago
      But... can they make a transmission that won't grenade at 70k miles?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bravo Fiat! It's always good to see someone make a major commitment to American manufacturing, even if it is a "foreign" company. (You know, like Toyota and Honda have been doing for well over a decade).
      Those are the kind of jobs we need more of.
      • 4 Years Ago
      By the comments here seem few learned anything.
      They want jobs and don't want to create anything new.
      Following Europe in decadence.
      With that mentality USA will be a place where nothing new will be created.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Keep 'em coming Sergio! Chrysler's R&D was decimated by Daimler and Cerberus, however I place most of the blame on Daimler who purposely put in cheap interiors in Chrysler cars as to prevent (as if) cannibalizing Mercedes sales.

      To all the Obama haters, middle finger up!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey lazy thets a real ignorant statement you wrote about what people eat??The quality of fiat cars were not good but so was peugeot and citroen and some other euro cars!!The fiat engines were always good but the body was not as it was prone to rust...At the time 70-80"fiat was saved by their government as was chrysler here and what do hero sandwiches have to do with making cars you idiot??Guess they donT call you lazy for nothing??
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am so happy for that town. Kokomo was on the brink of literally being desertted and I am so proud of the turnaround this town has made. This is a prime example of a true American comeback story.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's where we wanna go... Way down to Kokomo...
      • 4 Years Ago
      gabriel Lori if you want Fiat to remain italy tell italians to buy Fiat you know. In Germany 55% market share remains in german car brands, in France 55% market share remains in french car brands, but in Italy it's just 20%!!! There is no magic! So if you keep lazy in the factory and your people don't buy italian, well it's common sense Mr. Marchionne job.
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