KOKOMO — Chrysler will announce 1,250 new jobs and a major investment Thursday at transmission and metal casting factories in the Kokomo area.
CEO Sergio Marchionne will confirm that the plans include an investment of $162 million and the creation 850 jobs at a former Getrag Transmission plant in nearby Tipton. Another 400 jobs will be created at three other factories.
The company is investing millions in the Kokomo area to build fuel-efficient eight- and nine-speed automatic transmissions.
Chrysler plans to use a new nine-speed transmission in the Jeep Cherokee midsize SUV and in the Dodge Dart compact. The Cherokee will replace the aging Jeep Liberty later this year.
Most manufacturers rely on five- and six-speed transmissions to move their cars and trucks. But Chrysler and others are planning for more gears. Generally, transmissions with more gears help cars perform better and get better mileage because engines don't have to work as hard at highway speeds
Chrysler now has three transmission plants and a metal casting plant in the area that employ about 6,100 people.