Chrysler may invest $43.3 million in equipment at its transmission and casting plants in Kokomo, Ind., according to an application for tax abatement from the city.
The investment is a clear signal that Kokomo’s biggest employer has a future with Fiat. The company has already called back over 300 furloughed workers earlier this month and added a third shift to build up to 531,000 transmissions.
Chrysler is upgrading 75 percent of its vehicles this year with the help of partner Fiat SpA. Much of the improvements are in the areas of engines and transmissions to improve fuel economy.
Kokomo has three transmission plants that employed about 2,500 workers at the end of 2009, and there were 670 more at a casting plant that makes parts for transmissions and other components. Tinson would not say how many are on layoff as part of the automaker’s restructuring.