The current credit crisis could be playing further havoc with Chrysler's
future powertrain product plans. In the first half of 2007, Chrysler announced investment plans to build two new engine plants and a transmission plant for 2010 model cars. The transmission facility was to be a joint venture with Getrag to build fuel saving dual clutch transmissions. Chrysler already offers German-built Getrag DCTs in the European specification Journey
. Unfortunately Getrag's apparent inability to raise $300 million in debt financing that it committed to in the deal with Chrysler has led to a lawsuit from the automaker. Chrysler apparently wants damages for any delays to the program that might be caused by Getrag's financing problems. The privately-held carmaker also wants Getrag to cover the costs of switching to another transmission supplier if that becomes necessary.
Apparently, Getrag was hoping to get the money through loans guaranteed by the German government. The Germans however, wanted Chrysler to put money in escrow to guarantee repayment. So far, construction at the plant site is continuing but it's unclear how long that will go on.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd