Chrysler and Getrag building gearbox plant

A new $530-million factory is being built jointly by Chrysler Group and Getrag Transmissions Corp. in Tipton County, IN, to build dual-clutch automatic transmissions for Chrysler cars and light trucks

A new $530-million factory is being built jointly by Chrysler Group and Getrag Transmissions Corp. in Tipton County, IN, to build dual-clutch automatic transmissions for Chrysler cars and light trucks.

Getrag describes itself as the largest independent automotive transmission manufacturer worldwide and is headquartered in Untergruppenbach, Germany.

“Dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) provide much better shift quality, driving comfort, and superior fuel efficiency compared to more conventional technologies such as torque converter automatics and/or CVTs,” said Ulrich Kohler, Getrag’s vp-manufacturing.

“DCTs replace the energy-sapping torque converters of conventional automatic transmissions with two wet or lubricated clutches – one that engages first, third and fifth gear and the other that engages second, fourth and sixth,” he explained. “As a result, the transmission can deliver a 5% to 10% improvement in fuel economy.”

Getrag will handle “operational leadership” of the plant, which will employ approximately 1,050 full-time Chrysler UAW-represented workers and 120 management employees from both companies, Kohler noted.

Construction on the new 804,000-sq-ft plant is slated to begin this month. The plant is projected to produce 700,000 dual-clutch transmissions annually when it starts production in 2009.

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