US: new Chrysler plant begins 9-speed transmission production image

Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne, also the leader of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles parent company, was on site to commission the new Chrysler Group factory in Tipton.

The facility, which already has on site 204 workers – which are only a quarter of the full workforce needed – will start building the new 9-speed transmissions for the Jeep Cherokee and the Chrysler 200 sedan.

The company announced that by the year’s end the manufacturing facility would have a 600 people workforce, that would later grow to 850, after investments of $162 million, used to equip the 782,000-square-foot plant.

According to Jodi Tinson, a spokeswoman, production of the fuel saving 9-speed transmission already started since April, with the plant’s full capacity of around 800,000 units each year to be sent to plants in Toledo and Sterling Heights, and also to Fiat Chrysler plants located in Italy, Turkey, Brazil and China.

The two models the plant ships automatic transmissions – the Jeep Cherokee SUV and Chrysler 200 sedan are an important part of the five years business plan unveiled last week by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – as the company needs to boost global deliveries of the Jeep and Chrysler namesake brands to achieve the targeted growth by 2018.