KOKOMO, IN - Chrysler Group LLC confirmed Nov. 23 that it is looking to invest $843 million into the company's existing transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Ind., to accommodate production of a new advanced front-wheel drive (FWD) automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles. With this announcement, Chrysler's total investment in U.S. facilities would climb to nearly $3 billion since June 2009.

The investment would fund the installation of equipment and special tooling to modernize the Indiana Transmission Plants and the Kokomo Casting Plant, according to Chrysler.

Chrysler Group will be partnering with Friedrichshafen, Germany-based ZF Group on the next generation FWD  transmission, which is making its designs and technology available to the automaker and its Kokomo plants.

The Indiana Transmission Plant currently produces the 45 RFE rear-wheel drive transmission for Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Dakota, and Ram Trucks and 68 RFE for Cummins Diesel, Heavy Duty. Indiana Transmission Plant II produces the W5A580 5-speed transmission for the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Nitro, and Dodge Charger. The Kokomo Casting Plant manufactures aluminum parts for automotive components, transmission and transaxle cases.

Earlier this year, Chrysler Group announced it would invest a total of $343 million in its Kokomo facilities - $43 million to increase capacity at the Company's Kokomo Casting and Kokomo Transmission plants, adapt them to support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program; and $300 million to accommodate a new highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission for future Chrysler Group vehicles.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet