AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—FCA US LLC is crediting sales of vehicles equipped with its eight-speed automatic transmission for the decision to invest US$266 million in an Indiana transmission plant.
According to the North American unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA), the investment will be used to purchase new tooling and equipment and add more production capacity at the plant in Kokomo, Ind., that produces the TorqueFlite transmission.
“Since the launch of the eight-speed, employees … have been working practically round the clock to produce this advanced, fuel-efficient transmission,” FCA US powertrain manufacturing operations head Brad Clark said in a statement. “We are pleased that vehicles equipped with this transmission have been so well received by consumers. This investment will give us the additional capacity we need to make it available across even more vehicles in our product line.”
Production of the TorqueFlite transmission began at the plant in September 2012, and near 300,000 gearboxes were produced there in 2013.
Through the first 11 months of 2014, the Kokomo plant has produced nearly 700,000 of the transmissions for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, Dodge Challenger and Charger and Chrysler 300 passenger cars, and Ram 1500 pickup.
The automaker has invested nearly US$1.8 billion in the Kokomo plant since June 2009.