Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Chrysler Investment Paying off at Kokomo Transmission Works

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Chrysler Investment Paying off at Kokomo Transmission Works

Article excerpt

KOKOMO, Ind. - On the cusp of realizing the end result of a historic, $1.3 billion investment in Kokomo's plants, Chrysler officials here and in Detroit, Mich., are riding high. With a new 8- speed, rear-wheel drive transmission expected to begin rolling out of the Kokomo Transmission Plant later this year, and a new 9- speed, front-wheel drive transmission expected next year, workers are pumped. Executives are pumped.

For Chrysler's head of powertrain manufacturing, Brian Harlow, the new transmission represents a commitment to building cars "from the core."

Improvements to the powertrain, so much more expensive to accomplish than changes to sheet metal and interior surfaces, will move the company forward.

It all began with one decision, Harlow said.

Instead of contracting out transmission building three years ago, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne decided to keep the work in house.

So Kokomo's plants, which shut down in 2009, have added nearly 1,000 jobs since the company's bankruptcy. …

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