Chrysler to bring 1,250 jobs to Kokomo, Tipton transmission plants
Automaker to invest $370M in plants' expansions
Last Updated: 84 days ago
KOKOMO, Ind. - The rebounding fortunes of Chrysler will mean new jobs in the Kokomo area.
The company Thursday announced a huge new investment in its transmission facilities that will boost employment there to its highest level in decades.
Chrysler's chief executive said his company has survived a near-fatal experience.
Chrysler is investing $374 million into its Indiana transmission factories.
Part will go to three Kokomo plants, and the rest will be used to buy the former Getrag plant in Tipton that has sat unused for years.
The number three automaker will use the expanded capacity to build more of its fuel-efficient eight- and nine-speed transmissions.
"As you know, this is the sole region where we manufacture transmissions," said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler chairman. "And including all of the nearby facilities, it will be the largest transmission installation in the world."
The announcement means new jobs, lots of them.
More than 1,200 people will be hired by the time the expansion is complete at the end of 2014, bringing Chrysler's area employment to more than 7,000 people.
Gov. Mike Pence said it's a comeback story for the company and the area and a sign that Indiana continues to excel at manufacturing.
"And it's a story about what can be accomplished when people work together, when people work in concert at every level of business and industry and labor and government to make things happen for Hoosiers," said Pence.
For workers who were escorted out of these buildings at the depth of Chrysler's problems four years ago, this was a day to rejoice.
“I was going to go down with the ship," said one woman. "I was dedicated. I was here in April when they walked us out. We didn't know if we were coming back."
"That was three long months when we were laid off," said one man. "And they had pretty much locked the gates, and we thought we were done, you know. So it's been a, it's been a great ride. And Mr. Marchionne has brought this company back from the brink."
The company isn't the only one putting money into these sites.
The state is contributing $11.7 million in training grants and tax credits that the company will get when the new jobs are created, and local governments have granted an undisclosed amount of tax abatement for the new equipment the company will install.
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