Photo: Courtesy: City of Kokomo
Chrysler announced Thursday it will bring a new transmission plant to Tipton County and add more than 1,000 jobs to the area.
Chrysler Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company will spend $162 million on a new production site in Tipton County, creating 850 jobs.
“The new plant will build our all new nine-speed automatic transmission, which will be installed first in our new Jeep Cherokee, the successor to the Liberty, which is a key product that will make its entrance into the U.S. market in May and June of this year,” he says.
Tipton’s new plant is expected to be completed in 2014. It will make use of a space that was built for manufacturing, but has never seen any.
“The Tipton plant will be located in a building which was originally constructed several years ago on some rather shaky foundations, at least industrially, to house a transmission plant to be operated by Getrag, and then was slated to house a solar panel maker, which has since gone bankrupt,” he says.
In addition, Chrysler will spend $212 million to retool three Kokomo facilities for its new eight-speed automatic transmissions, creating 400 additional jobs.
Governor Mike Pence praised the Hoosier work ethic and the worker’s skills for Chrysler’s continued investment.
“Indiana is many things, but at our core, we make things and we grow things. And today we prove again that our past and our future is manufacturing,” he says.
Toni Price has worked for Chrysler for 20 years and was at the plant in 2009 when the bankrupt company’s employees were walked out of the factory.
“My father retired from here, I have several uncles that retired from here, I have aunts that retired from here. So, this is like the family business. And it’s just great to see it coming back to the levels that it’s been before,” Price says.
Marchionne says when the 1250 new jobs are filled, Chrysler will employ more than seven thousand Hoosiers in the Kokomo area. With the Tipton plant, he says the facilities will make up the largest transmission installation in the world.