In 2011, Chrysler announced a $72-million investment in its Toledo Machining Plant to modernize production of the eight- and nine-speed torque-converters for automatic transmissions made there. That upgrade work won't be finished until Q3 of this year, but Chrysler has already announced a further $19.6-million investment to increase production capacity for the nine-speeders.

The extra units will be necessary because the nine-speed transmission they'll be mated to is going into three popular models: it will debut on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, then go into the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. The company predicted that this year alone it would sell 200,000 units equipped with the nine-speed tranny, and it is spending some $374 million in addition to the investment in Toledo to upgrade production capacity for it.

The work attached to this new investment won't begin until Q3 of 2014, and it will be finished by the end of that year. There's a press release below with all the details.
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Chrysler Group Plans to Invest Nearly $20 Million in Toledo Machining Plant

- Investment to increase capacity for production of torque converters for new generation, fuel-efficient nine-speed transmission
- Company's total investment in U.S. facilities over $5.2 billion since June 2009


April 26, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will invest $19.6 million in its Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, to increase capacity of the torque converter it's machining for the nine-speed transmission. With this announcement, the Company's total investments in its U.S. operations since June 2009 increase to over $5.2 billion.

The new torque converters will be paired with the next generation, fuel efficient nine-speed front-wheel drive transmission being assembled at Chrysler Group's Indiana (Kokomo, Ind.) Transmission Plant I. The new transmission will debut in the 2014 Jeep® Cherokee.

"The new nine-speed transmission is a critical part of our strategy to meet fuel economy requirements over the next several years and Toledo Machining will play an integral role in bringing this transmission to market," said Scott Garberding, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Chrysler Group LLC. "Securing this additional investment is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the plant's workforce and helps secure its future long-term."

The investment will fund the installation of new equipment and tooling for additional machining and assembly capacity. Installation is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2014 and will be completed by the end of 2014.

In August 2011, a $72 million investment in Toledo Machining was announced to modernize the plant to produce the eight- and nine-speed torque converters on two new production lines and a new steering column for the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee. These installations will be complete in the third quarter this year.

"We're very pleased that Chrysler is once again investing in the Toledo Machining Plant and the skilled workforce there," said General Holiefield, Vice President and Director, UAW Chrysler Department. "This will help preserve and enhance jobs in the area and give a greater measure of security to our members and their families well into the future."

In February, the Company announced that it was investing $374 million in several of its Kokomo, Ind., facilities, including establishing a new manufacturing site in Tipton, Ind., to increase production capacity of the nine-speed transmission.

Toledo Machining currently produces torque converters for Kokomo Transmission (Ind.), Indiana Transmission I and II (Kokomo, Ind.), Sterling Heights Assembly (Mich.), and Toluca (Mex.).

The plant also produces steering columns for the following assembly plants: Warren Truck (Mich.), Belvidere (Ill.), Sterling Heights (Mich.), Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio); Windsor (Ont.), Toluca (Mex.), Saltillo (Mex.), Arab American Vehicles (Egypt) and Carabobo (Venezuela).


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  • 87 Comments
      Jaymes
      • 1 Year Ago
      it looks like a Higgins boat
      Farmboy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Never realized how pointy that front end is.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Front clip looks like a badly injured weasel. Was their design studio is on acid?
      strykerzzzz
      • 1 Year Ago
      These 9 speed transmissions are built under license from ZF, the same as the 8 speeds are, because ZF can't build them fast enough, both in Europe and now at a factory in South Carolina. Honda will also soon be buying the ZF 9 speed transmissions to put in at least their Acura line of cars.
      vroooomy
      • 1 Year Ago
      that is a great color. would love to see it available on the wrangler
        Andy Dufresne
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vroooomy
        Yes... it accentuates all the flowing (barf) lines of the new car. (puke)
      Kyle
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice article, but Chrysler produces its 8 and 9-speed transmissions in Kokomo
      Bill Burke
      • 1 Year Ago
      No doubt that Chrysler is raising it to the next level. Although there has been some overblown criticism of the new Jeep Cherokee, the overall reaction has been favorable as the enormity of the "complete package" sinks into the public mind. Without doubt, Jeep has come to this market with the most significant and advanced mid size SUV on the planet. The global reach of this vehicle is the most important aspect in this discussion, and there will be little doubt in a few months that this new Cherokee is the class of the segment for the foreseeable future. Central to that position will be an innovative and complex drive train featuring the most important transmission for the industry, the 9 speed ZF front wheel drive automatic made for many Chrysler vehicles of the near future by Chrysler in America. It is that transmission that will change the entire FWD line for Chrysler, as it transforms the segment and puts Chrysler vehicles in a class by themselves.That 20 million investment will be small change as Chrysler group vehicles, as well as some Fiat group vehicles, go global as the standard to which all others will aspire. I'm guessing they won't be able to build enough of these to match the robust sales that will begin building shortly and just keep exploding on a global scale.
        BlueNinja
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bill Burke
        Bill how much do you get paid to write that?
          billfrombuckhead
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BlueNinja
          Chrysler will be in a class by themselves with these new ZF transmissions. I also love the new Cherokee design, it's very functional as opposed to the new 4runner with all those fake scoops.
        jOkEy SmUrf aLLsTaRz
        @Bill Burke
        and you are on crack...you forget that American designs often do not go over as well in other markets as they do here. So who, pray tell, is going to buy this elsewhere where more simple design is the rule (unless its a supercar)? Whoever is paying you for voting for this "land shark" of a truck should be fired. This truck still and always will be some ugly monstrosity that someone from Jeep got passed thru when the design chief was on vacation.
      clquake
      • 1 Year Ago
      They didn't fix the front part where the elephant sat on it.
      Lunch
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is one UGH-GLEE piece of sheet metal. Was it designed by committee or are the designers really that bad? Maybe both?
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      A disgrace to the Cherokee heritage.
      thumerzs
      • 1 Year Ago
      9-speed trannies sound great in theory, but I gotta wonder how reliable they\'ll be since it seems Chrysler still can\'t make a five-speed that lasts.
        Bill Burke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @thumerzs
        Are you serious ? The Chrysler/Mercedes 5 speeds are heavy, but stone cold reliable and virtually indestructible. Boy are you blowing smoke or are you that uninformed? Just plain silly guy.
      Snark
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've seen them in person. It's still really unusual, but it works in the metal better than it does in pictures. For the most part, it looks like a smaller Grand Cherokee.
        zack_falcon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Snark
        I won't disagree with your opinion on how it looks, since looks is subjective. But that thing is far from a smaller Grand Cherokee, at least up front. The Compass (ugh) looks like a mini Grand Cherokee.
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