Christmas comes early to Kokomo, as the Chrysler Group LLC has announced plans to invest $266 million in new manufacturing equipment in Kokomo. The investment will enable the company to expand production of its 8-speed transmissions at two of its four Kokomo plants.
Consumer demand for Chrysler’s fuel-efficient vehicles with the 8-speed transmission led to the need to increase manufacturing capacity. More than one million Chrysler vehicles equipped with the Kokomo-built, 8-speed automatic transmission have been sold.
On December 8, the Kokomo Common Council unanimously approved a ten-year tax abatement on personal property taxes for the project. The $266 million investment is for adding new equipment. The project does not involve replacing or removing any equipment.
“Chrysler’s investment is one in a series of recent indicators for Kokomo’s continued economic expansion,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “Kokomo is thriving. Our city’s economic development strategy and quality-of-life initiatives for all of Kokomo are intended to facilitate this type of private investment.”
Since 2009, Chrysler has invested more than $1.5 billion at its Kokomo transmission plants.
In 2012, Chrysler completely overhauled the 3.1 million square-foot Kokomo Transmission Plant and installed new manufacturing equipment necessary to produce the 8-speed transmission.
Kokomo is now the world’s largest producer of transmissions. The company employs 7,600 at its manufacturing facilities in Kokomo.