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Chrysler Group Invests $374 Million, Adds 1,250 Jobs to Increase Production of Fuel-Efficient Transmissions in North-Central Indiana

KOKOMO, Ind., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 

  • Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO makes announcement joined by Indiana Governor
  • Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting and Indiana Transmission I to receive $212 million for additional equipment and tooling; will create up to 400 new jobs
  • Investing $162 million in new Tipton Transmission Plant for production of nine-speed transmission; will add 850 new jobs
  • CEO celebrates start of production of new fuel-efficient eight-speed transmission
  • Announcement brings total U.S. investment to nearly $5.2 billion since June 2009
  • Company has added nearly 8,000 U.S. hourly jobs since June 2009

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will invest nearly $374 million to boost transmission production and add about 1,250 new jobs in north-central Indiana, making it the largest transmission installation in the world.

Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that the Company would make investments and add jobs at the following local plants:

  • Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting and Indiana Transmission I Plants: investing $212 million for additional tooling and equipment to produce the eight- and nine-speed transmissions; adding up to 400 new jobs, subject to market conditions. Work on the facilities is scheduled to begin in the second quarter 2013, with equipment and tooling to be installed in the fourth quarter 2013.
  • Tipton Transmission Plant: acquiring the former Getrag facility and investing $162 million to establish an additional assembly site for the nine-speed transmission; creating up to 850 new jobs, subject to market conditions. Production at the site will begin in the first quarter of 2014.

Marchionne, along with Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, Tipton Mayor Don Havens, Tipton County Commission President Mike Cline, other local officials and UAW Regional Director Ken Lortz, joined employees to celebrate the news at an event at the Kokomo Transmission Plant.

"Our investments in Kokomo and Tipton are a tribute to the character of the men and women of Chrysler who survived a near-fatal experience and have embraced the challenge of building an enterprise that is able to compete with the best in the world," said Marchionne. "Our powertrain team has consistently demonstrated the ability and the willingness to think in unconventional ways in order to exceed expectations.

"I want to thank Governor Pence, Mayor Goodnight, Mayor Havens, Commissioner Cline and all the other state and local officials who worked with us to make these investments possible. Together, and with the support of our UAW partners, I can assure you that it is truly a privilege for Chrysler to be able to contribute to the growth and development of this State," said Marchionne.

With this announcement, Chrysler Group has confirmed investments of more than $1.6 billion in Kokomo for production of the eight- and nine-speed transmissions as well as various other process improvements at all four area facilities – Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting, Indiana Transmission I and Indiana Transmission II. Chrysler Group currently employs over 6,100 in Kokomo.

"These new investments and new jobs are a testament to the determination we all had – management, labor and our workforce – to making the best of the second chance we were given in 2009," said Ken Lortz, UAW Regional Director. "In partnership with the UAW, Chrysler Group is helping grow good paying manufacturing jobs and securing the future manufacturing base in this country."

In addition to announcing new investments and new jobs, Marchionne celebrated the start of production of the Kokomo-built eight-speed transmission, which can be found in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Charger.

In the Grand Cherokee, the eight-speed transmission drives the new EcoDiesel, as well as the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – now expected to achieve up to 25 mpg highway and more than 600-miles driving range – and the 5.7-liter V-8, now achieving up to an estimated 22 mpg highway. The 2013 Dodge Charger is the first domestic sport sedan to feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. Mated to the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, it delivers best-in-class highway fuel economy among full-size, rear-wheel-drive competition – up to 31 mpg – and all-wheel-drive models – up to 27 mpg.

Those interested in employment with Chrysler Group can check for available positions at www.chryslercareers.com. Hiring for the positions in Kokomo will begin in the second quarter. Tipton positions will be available in the fourth quarter.

In total, Chrysler Group's investments in its U.S. facilities have risen to nearly $5.2 billion since June 2009. In the same time frame, the Company has added nearly 8,000 U.S. hourly jobs.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, all-new Dodge Dart, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

Follow Chrysler news and video on:
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/pentastarvideo 
Chrysler Group blog: http://blog.chryslergroupllc.com 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/chrysler 
Streetfire: http://members.streetfire.net/profile/ChryslerVideo.htm 
Corporate website: http://www.chryslergroupllc.com 

SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC

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