Chrysler To Invest $843 Million In Indiana Plant

One month after Chrysler announced it would invest $1 billion into a pair of Michigan plants, the car company has said it intends to put nearly that amount of money into its transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

The $843 million will upgrade the plant to allow for production of an advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission for future Chrysler vehicles and includes installation of equipment and special tooling for the transmission plants and a casting plant. More importantly, the money will allow the plant to retain around 2,250 jobs.

The Kokomo plant builds transmissions for vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Dakota, Ram pickup trucks, Dodge Nitro and Dodge Charger.

“For years, Kokomo has been at the center of our powertrain strategy and the potential of an additional investment reaffirms that position,” Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said about the investment.

Chrysler to invest $843 million at Kokomo plants [Reuters]

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  1. ThePrettiestStar says:

    That’s great news! Now if there were only people who were interested in those cars…

    • GearheadGeek says:

      “those cars” meaning the ones that are currently using transmissions from the Kokomo plant, like the high-volume Ram pickups, the Charger that’s popular both with consumers and with police departments and the new and well-reviewed Grand Cherokee? Or the “future Chrysler vehicles” for which they’re tooling up?

  2. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    +1 to the Consumerist for Beach Boys reference.

    - – -

    I was gonna add my “Too bad nobody wants those cars” comment, but Star beat me to the punch. :(

  3. rpm773 says:

    Good news for the local economy.

    Good news for the Hip Hugger.

  4. jeffjohnvol says:

    Too bad that can’t do it without labor unions. Let your arrows fly.

  5. SonarTech52 says:

    I was always thinking Kokomo was in the Carribean or something because of the Beach Boys song…. It’s in Indiana?

  6. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This is great! :)

    Michigan and Indiana can both use as much help as possible. Pity Chrysler still sucks as a car making machine.

  7. dolemite says:

    My local Hyundai dealer was bought out by the people that also own the local Chrysler dealer. I drive an Elantra Touring. So, I was a bit miffed that I would have my service performed at the Chrysler dealer (they are my least favorite domestic car maker). For the life of me, I could never figure out who bought the cars. On my first scheduled oil change, my suspicions were confirmed, as the waiting room was full of octogenarians waiting to pick up their Chryslers. I believe I was the youngest person in the entire room, by 40-50 years.

  8. ganzhimself says:

    Too bad they couldn’t invest some money in the Kenosha plant…

  9. Press1forDialTone says:

    Yippee for the Kokomo plant (I live in Indiana). I have a 5-speed manual trans
    in my 1995 Neon Sport Coupe (hey I know but its been a great car only
    needing normal maintenance, its got over 100K+ miles and purrs like
    a kitten and everything still works and it looks great!) The car was made
    in Illinois not Mexico too. That 5-speed was a joint project between GM and
    Chrysler and its a great tranny, hasn’t given me one problem. GM used it
    in the Pontiac Sunfire coupe. Hate to throw water on all the Chrysler haters
    but I’ve had nothing but, my whole life (55 years) and every one of them has
    been great. You know you have to educate yourself about cars and take care
    of them properly or they will all fall apart. Maintenance folks! That’s the ticket
    and synthetic oil, engines are expensive!

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Americans as a group seem to like the Accord/Camry proposition… cars that will accept a fair amount of neglect for 6 years or so. Many cars don’t like that degree of neglect, but will last very well if properly maintained (as you point out.)

      • Press1forDialTone says:

        You hit the nail on the head (not the cylinder head of course).
        That “use it until it breaks then throw it away” attitude is what has
        gotten us all into this mess for years. Cars are one of the most
        horrible expressions of this; and then they talk about living green,
        laughable.
        Have a great Thanksgiving and one thing we can be thankful for
        is that at least the two of us aren’t car stupid.

  10. savethecirclepit says:

    How about giving us our tax money back first? This is not creating jobs, it’s moving jobs that would have been created with the tax money that was stolen from a successful business and handed to failing business. Chrysler is failed company with no vision of the future and all the tax money will never change that. The government has propped them up before and will probably have to prop them up again. Keep turning out those metal crap boxes that nobody wants comrads!

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      “Comrades” (correct spelling) says it all. You know of course
      you are actually talking about THOUSANDS of Americans who
      would be out of work. Fiat is the largest car entity in Europe.
      They are not in financial difficulty by any means. If Daimler and
      the succeeding owner had not gutted Chrysler’s R&D to jack off
      the stockholders, they wouldn’t have needed help. I’m glad we did.
      The new Jeep 2011 Grand Cherokee has gotten rave reviews and
      is just the first in many new models that Fiat is co-designing with them.
      This co-design is no different that Ford and Mazda, GM and Toyota/Suzuki,
      etc.

    • peebozi says:

      “It’s mine! You understand! Mine! All mine! Get in there, down! Down! Down! (He is beating Bugs back into the tunnel) Go! GO! Go! Mine! Mine! Mwahahahaha!” – Daffy Duck & savethecirclepit

  11. JonBoy470 says:

    A lack of econocars hurt Chrysler when the gas crunch hit in ’73. The recession of the late 70′s made things that much worse. Lee Iaccoca brought them back, largely on the back the K-car and the Minivan. They looked to be out of the woods in the 90′s, with a string of sales hits like the Neon, the LH sedans (Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concorde, etc.) the Ram pickups, and the Jeep SUV line, all of which were well received when new. Unfortunately, a few quality snags were enough to tarnish their image.

    The merger with Daimler was a colossal distraction that bled the company and mucked up their product line. Then Daimler sold to Cerberus, who proceeded to bleed the company dry, pulling every cent possible out of it, and starving new product development in the process. The fact that they again had a very weak small car product line hurt them again when gas hit $4.00/gallon in ’08. It’s good to see someone actually putting some cash into the company so they can build an un-sucky product. I for one hope they replace everything smaller than the Charger with a, at most badge-engineered, Fiat product. It’d be nice to be able to buy a proper European-style car in this country without having to fork over the coin for a BMW or Mercedes. And the money that’s been flushed down the Mopar drain pales in comparison to that sunk into Government Motors.

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      If you’re interested in American-built co-European designed and engineered
      cars, take a look at the new Buick Regal and the existing LaCrosse and
      Lucerne, at Buick (and Cadillac in general). They’ve gotten rave reviews
      by owners and car folks alike. The new Buick Regal is NOT, repeat NOT
      akin the old Regal in any way. I test drove one and couldn’t believe it.
      Feels like a BMW but not the price by a long shot.

  12. jp7570-1 says:

    Actually, it is more accurate to say that Fiat is making these investments. This is the first step in a long-term strategy to build some of the models here.

    You can argue about Fiat’s quality (or lack thereof), but the bottom-line is that by about 2015, the Chrysler line will be totally replaced by Fiat. That is truly a cause for celebration.

  13. peebozi says:

    This is great…hopefully, they build some reasonably priced, quality vehicles!