Chrysler to retool factory for new 8-speed automatic

Chrysler Group has announced it will invest $300 million to retool manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, IN, to produce a new 8-sp. automatic transmission. The auto and truck OEM hopes the new gearbox will help it meet a fuel-efficiency improvement goal of 25% by 2014

Chrysler Group has announced it will invest $300 million to retool manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, IN, to produce a new 8-sp. automatic transmission. The auto and truck OEM hopes the new gearbox will help it meet a fuel-efficiency improvement goal of 25% by 2014.

“The new 8-spd. transmission that we’ll be producing in Kokomo will transform our future product line, but equally important, it ensures the future viability of our Kokomo facilities and our dedicated workforce,” said Scott Garberding, senior vp & head of manufacturing. “The support demonstrated by General Holiefield, vp & director of the UAW Chrysler Department, and the entire UAW for world class manufacturing is one of the primary reasons we continue to make significant investments in our Indiana facilities.”

The transmissions will go into production in 2013 at Chrysler’s Indiana Transmission Plant I and Kokomo Casting Plant.

Chrysler secured the manufacturing rights to the transmission from Friedrichshafen, Germany-based ZF Group. Part of the agreement includes the purchase of transmissions manufactured by ZF.

“The new 8-sp. automatic transmission will offer our customers refinement and comfort while achieving greater fuel economy and performance,” said Paolo Ferrero, senior vp-- powertrain. “We look forward to integrating the new transmission into future Chrysler Group products and welcome its contribution to a corporate fuel economy improvement of more than 25% by 2014.”

The transmission will be implemented across the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck product lineups.

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