Chrysler Group LLC is set to invest $300 million to retool two of its Indian plants, which produce automatic transmissions; Indiana Transmission Plant I and the Kokomo casting plant. Moves such as these show much promise for the auto industry after manufacturers had tightened the purse straps to get them through the worst downturn in decades. This move from Chrysler comes after Ford and GM have made announcements to invest $135 million and $800 million respectively, into greater Detroit area facilities.
The investment in the Indiana plant was effectuated in large part by tax abatements and will preserve nearly 1,200 jobs. It also brings Chrysler’s sum total of powertrain investments to $1.3 billion since 2007.
“The new eight-speed transmission that we’ll be producing in Kokomo will transform our future product line, but equally important, ensures the future viability of our Kokomo facilities,” said Scott Garberding, senior vice president and head of manufacturing at Chrysler. The new transmissions are expected to increase fuel-efficiency by more than 25% by 2014.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News