As part of Chrysler's continuing powertrain onslaught that included three recent engine plant announcments, the soon-to-be-privately-held automaker has announced a partnership with German transmission manufacturer Getrag to build dual-clutch transmissions. A new $530 million plant will be built in Tipton County, Indiana starting at the end of this month. Production is slated to start in 2009 with an annual capacity of 700,000 transmissions.
The six speed gearboxes have two clutches that are alternately engaged with one clutch being connected to the first, third and fifth gears and the others to the even numbered gears. When any gear is engaged, the opposite clutch is disengaged and the next gear is selected. When an upshift or downshift is needed, the gears are preselected and the two clutches switch positions providing fast seamless shifts. Dual clutch transmissions can yield a five to ten percent improvement in fuel economy compared to torque converter automatices because of their enhanced mechanical efficiency.
Chrysler Group, GETRAG, UAW and Indiana Governor Daniels Announce Tipton County as Site for New Joint-Venture Transmission Plant
* Chrysler Group and GETRAG make $530 million investment in Tipton County
* Chrysler Group and GETRAG executives join Gov. Mitch Daniels to celebrate site selection and investment in new plant
* New Dual-Clutch Transmission part of "Powertrain Offensive" improves fuel economy
Tipton County, Ind., Jun 18, 2007 -
Richard Chow-Wah, Vice President – Powertrain Manufacturing, Chrysler Group, joined Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to officially name Tipton County, Ind., as the site of a new dual-clutch transmission manufacturing plant with partner company, GETRAG. The $530 million investment is another step in Chrysler Group's "Powertrain Offensive" - $3 billion in investments to produce more fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and axles for Chrysler Group.
"We appreciate the support that has been offered by state and local officials to help bring this investment to Indiana," said Chow-Wah. "Together with our new partner, GETRAG, our combined $530 million investment in Tipton will create a state-of-the art facility to manufacture fuel-efficient, dual-clutch transmissions and reaffirm our long-term commitment to producing vehicles that meet and exceed consumers' demands for more economical-to-operate vehicles."
"This is an important day for the future of the UAW and Chrysler, and in particular for the continued competitiveness of our team here in the State of Indiana," said General Holiefield, UAW Vice President, who directs the union's DaimlerChrysler Department. "This investment is a significant step toward realizing our vision to see this company and our union grow this business and transform Chrysler into a stronger company that will be competitive for the long run."
Located on a 145-acre site at the intersection of State Road 28 and U.S. 31 in Tipton County, GETRAG will have the operational leadership of the plant which will employ approximately 1,050 full-time Chrysler Group UAW-represented workers and 120 management employees from both companies.
The plant will produce 700,000 dual-clutch transmissions annually. Additionally, the plant will have a direct effect on 230 employees at Kokomo Casting and Kokomo Transmission who will be dedicated to producing parts for the GETRAG plant. Construction of the 804,000 square-foot facility is scheduled to begin June 27, 2007, with production beginning in2009.
"Indiana's comeback rolls on. Today is a tribute to the skill of Hoosier workers and the pro-growth climate we are building in our state," said Daniels.
"Dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) provide much better shift quality, driving comfort, and superior fuel efficiency compared to more conventional technologies such as torque converter automatics and/or CVTs," said Ulrich Kohler, Vice President Manufacturing – GETRAG Transmissions Corporation. "DCTs replace the energy-sapping torque converters of conventional automatic transmissions with two wet or lubricated clutches - one that engages first, third and fifth gear and the other that engages second, fourth and sixth. As a result, the transmission can deliver a five to 10 percent improvement in fuel economy."