Chrysler has confirmed plans to invest US$843m at its transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Indiana for production of a new front-wheel drive nine speed automatic transmission.
This pushes the automakers total investment dollars near the $3 billion mark, dating back to June of 2009, with $1.1 billion of that earmarked specifically for the Kokomo facilities. More importantly, this announcement should have 2,250 employees breathing a little easier because it allows their jobs to be retained.
Chrysler Group will be partnering with Friedrichshafen, Germany-based ZF Group on the next generation front-wheel drive transmission, which is making its designs and technology available to the Company and its Kokomo plants.
The new piece of technology will be fitted into Chrysler vehicles starting 2013. Chrysler hopes that by offering the nine-speed transmission ZF is working on, the appeal of its models will increase.
ZF says the new unit brings extremely short response and shifting times, meaning that double shifts and direct multiple gearshifts can occur without the driver or passenger noticing.
The announcement came on the same day that General Motors Co. confirmed it is investing $2 billion in 17 facilities, including $204 million at a Toledo plant to make an eight-speed automatic transmission. GM hopes to start building the transmission by the end of t