Chrysler started production of its new nine-speed automatic transmission at the Tipton County plant in Indiana, where up to 850 new jobs will be created by the end of 2015.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said Tipton will become one of the global hubs for transmission production. When it reaches full capacity, the plant will ship about 800,000 finished gearboxes to Toledo, Ohio, for use in the Jeep Cherokee and Sterling Heights, Michigan, for the Chrysler 200 as well as to Fiat plants in Melfi, Italy; Tofus, Turkey; Pernambuco, Brazil; and China.
Chrysler began of the first nine-speed transmissions in May 2013 at the Indiana Transmission Plant I (ITPI), with the opening of the Tipton facility representing phase two. This means additional work for three of Chrysler’s facilities in Kokomo, Indiana. Castings for the new transmission will come from Kokomo Casting; machining of the prismatic parts – housings, blocks and heads – will be done at Kokomo Transmission; and the rotating parts – gears and crank shafts – will come from ITPI. All will be shipped to Tipton for final assembly.
“With the startup of TTP, we are enhancing the status of this region as the largest transmission installation in the world. Just recently, we reached the landmark numbers of 17 million four-speed transmissions and three million six-speed transmissions built in Kokomo,” Marchionne said.
Since June 2009, Chrysler has invested more than $1.6 billion (€1.16 billion) and hired more than 2,600 people in north central Indiana to produce the next generation transmissions. In total, the automaker employs more than 7,000 people in the five plants in the region.