Spotlight on Indiana I: Where Transmissions Reign

Christina Biache and Jodi Tinson

It looks like the nearly $1.8 billion FCA US LLC invested in its Kokomo, Ind., transmission operations has paid off. Just two months after producing the 1 millionth TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, FCA US facilities in Indiana celebrated another milestone—production of the 1 millionth nine-speed automatic—and officially welcomed it into the TorqueFlite transmission family.

The story begins in north central Indiana, where a significant manufacturing investment and an empowered workforce that is dedicated to giving back to the local community has been the secret behind its success.

FCA US has made six investments in FCA US Kokomo operations since June 2009; bringing the total Company investment to nearly $1.8 billion.

TorqueFlite eight-speed production launched at Kokomo Transmission Plant (Ind.) in September 2012, making it the world’s first eight-speed available outside the luxury market. The facility recently reached 1 million eight-speeds assembled in July.

Currently, the eight-speed transmission is available on the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, Jeep® Grand Cherokee, and Ram 1500. Over their lifetimes, these vehicles are projected to save their owners more than 700 gallons of fuel–an average $2500 savings per customer based on fuel-price forecasts–compared with predecessor transmissions that featured five- or six-speed automatics.

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