AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—Chrysler says its investing $19.6-million in an Ohio machining plant to build more torque converters for a new nine-speed automatic transmission debuting in the reborn Jeep Cherokee.
According to the automaker, its Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, will receive the investment to boost capacity of the torque converter it is machining for the nine-speed automatic transmission that will debut in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee later this year.
The transmission is being assembled at one of Chrysler’s Kokomo, Ind., plants.
“The new nine-speed transmission is a critical part of our strategy to meet fuel economy requirements over the next several years and Toledo Machining will play an integral role in bringing this transmission to market,” Chrysler senior vice-president of manufacturing Scott Garberding said in a statement.
The investment will fund the installation of new equipment and tooling for additional machining and assembly capacity.
Installation is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2014 and will be completed by the end of 2014.
In August 2011, a $72-million investment in Toledo Machining was announced to modernize the plant to produce the eight- and nine-speed torque converters on two new production lines and a new steering column for the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee.
Those installations will be complete in the third quarter of this year.
In February, the company announced it was investing $374-million in several of its Kokomo, Ind., facilities, including establishing a new manufacturing site in Tipton, Ind., to increase production capacity of the nine-speed transmission.
Chrysler’s total investment in its U.S. operations since June 2009 has increased to over $5.2-billion.