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Chrysler Investing Nearly $400 Mil, Creating 1,250 Indiana Jobs

Factory to add new 9-speed automatic transmission.

by on Feb.28, 2013

Chrysler will add 1,250 jobs in Kokomo to build its new 9-speed automatic transmission.

Chrysler plans to invest nearly $400 million and create 1,250 new jobs at two plants near Kokomo, Indiana.

It’s the latest in a series of investments by the maker that has resulted in the creation of 8,000 more new positions since Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. The new project also protects the jobs of another 3,400 jobs in Kokomo, a hub of automotive parts manufacturing.

“Chrysler’s future and the future of North Central Indiana are tied together, and that future has never looked brighter,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, following the announcement by Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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In his own comments, Marchionne pointed out that Kokomo is the only place in the world where Chrysler produces transmissions – though it does “outsource” some from suppliers like Germany’s ZF.


Land Rover Launching World’s First 9-Speed Automatic

But it won’t have an exclusive for long.

by on Feb.27, 2013

Land Rover will show off a new version of the Evoque equipped with a ZF 9-speed automatic.

Apparently, you can never be too rich, too famous – or have too many gears.

It wasn’t all that long ago when automakers were debating the need to go from four speeds to five — then six, seven and even eight. Now comes Land Rover which has announced it will demonstrate a new 9-speed gearbox in its wildly popular Range Rover Evoque during the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

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But the maker won’t have an exclusive for long. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne recently confirmed his company will start offering a 0-speed automatic also produced by ZF in a variety of its front- and all-wheel-drive models, starting with the all-new Jeep Cherokee to be launched for the 2014 model-year.


Chrysler Going Mainstream with 8-Speed; 9-Speed Automatic Coming

New gearboxes cut “a chunk” out of fuel consumption.

by on Sep.01, 2011

V-6 versions of the 2012 Dodge Charger will get the new 8-speed gearbox, as will the V-6 Chrysler 300.

Chrysler will become the first automaker to go mainstream with a fuel-saving 8-speed automatic gearbox, but has learned the Detroit maker is also developing an even more efficient 9-speed transmission.

Automakers are searching frantically for ways to improve mileage as they struggle to meet the 35.5 mpg fuel economy target for 2016 – and the 54.5 mpg standard recently enacted for 2025.  While all sorts of advanced – and expensive – options are under study, makers like Chrysler have realized they can achieve significant efficiencies simply improving the transmissions already found in every car on the road.

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The new Chrysler 8-speed will debut on the V-6 versions of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300.  They will deliver a full 4 mile per gallon increase in highway mileage, boosting the Dodge sedan to 31 mpg on the highway.

“That’s a chunk,” said Chrysler spokesman Vince Muniga, who also confirmed that “We’re working on a 9-speed” automatic gearbox that is expected to be even more efficient.