KOKOMO, Ind. (WLFI/WISH) - An automaker is investing hundreds of millions and adding well more than a thousand positions at transmission and metal casting plants in Indiana.
Thursday morning, Chrysler announced it is adding 1,250 jobs to increase production of fuel-efficient transmissions in north-central Indiana. It's also investing $374 million in area plants.
"When these plans are completed, Chrysler's total employment in the area will total more than 7,000 people," said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Here's the breakdown.
The Kokomo transmissions plant, Kokomo casting plant and Indiana transmission 1 plant will receive $212 million for equipment and tooling, and 400 jobs will be added.
"It feels like we are back. People have a positive attitude and I think we are here to stay," said plant maintenance supervisor Bill Jackson. "At one point we weren't sure if we were going to make it or not. And to see all this stuff come back in, it's a good feeling."
Additionally, Chrysler is investing $152 million into a new Tipton transmission plant, which will add 850 jobs.
That brings the total amount of Chrysler's U.S. investments to nearly $5.2 billion since 2009.
This investment in Tipton will make it the largest transmission installation in the world.
- ONLINE EXTRA | Tipton looks forward to new jobs
Chrysler currently has three transmission plants and a metal casting plant in the Kokomo area that employ a bit more than 6,000 people.
Formerly known as the Getrag plant, the nearly 800,000 square foot plant has never had an occupant. Getrag halted construction in 2008 when Chrysler filed for bankruptcy.
Now Chrysler is back and is buying the building.
"Our investments in Kokomo and Tipton are a tribute to the character of the men and women of Chrysler who survived a near fatal experience and have embraced the challenge of building an enterprise that is able to compete with the best in the world," said Marchionne.
Chrysler is moving ahead to get the new assembly lines up and running.
The plan is to have equipment and tooling installed in the Kokomo plants by the fourth quarter of 2013. The Tipton plant should be up and running by the end of next year.
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