Market Overview

FCA US Celebrates One Million Eight-Speed Transmissions Assembled at its Kokomo Transmission Plant

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

  • More than $860 million invested in plant for production of fuel-efficient transmission
  • Indiana facility launched eight-speed production in September 2012
  • TorqueFlite 845RE offered in the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango and Ram 1500
  • Fuel saving transmission is projected to conserve more than 700 million gallons; reduce combined CO2 emissions by more than six million metric tonnes
  • Kokomo Transmission embarks on nearly 60 years of production 

The one millionth TorqueFlite 845RE eight-speed automatic transmission produced at the FCA US LLC Kokomo Transmission Plant (Ind.) rolled off the assembly line today. The occasion was marked with a celebratory town hall to recognize the nearly 3,000 hourly employees whose commitment made the milestone possible.

"This is a significant accomplishment and one that every Kokomo Transmission Plant employee should be proud of," said Brian Harlow, Vice President - Manufacturing, FCA North America. "They have dedicated themselves to producing  a high quality, technologically advanced transmission that is, in part, responsible for the success of some of our most popular vehicles.  

"And while working to keep up with demand, the team was simultaneously able to reach the first award level of World Class Manufacturing," said Harlow. "As the plant marks 60 years of transmission production, I congratulate them on this achievement and am confident that we can count them to build another million."

Powering six vehicles – the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango, and Ram 1500 - the advanced technology transmission is projected to save vehicle owners more than 700 million gallons of fuel, and reduce combined CO2 emissions by more than six million metric tonnes.

In total, FCA US, formerly Chrysler Group, has invested nearly $860 million to launch and expand production of the eight-speed transmission at Kokomo Transmission since 2010:

  • June 2010: announced $300 million investment to produce a new, fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission
  • December 2010: confirmed an additional investment of $85 million
  • February 2013: invested $212 million in its transmissions operations to produce eight- and nine-speeds
  • December 2014: announced a $216 million investment to increase capacity of the TorqueFlite 845RE eight-speed. 

"The TorqueFlite program has had a profound impact on our vehicle lineup and has benefitted our customers," said Jeffrey Lux, Vice President - Transmission Powertrain, FCA North America. "The transmissions deliver superior performance and allow the powertrain to operate at peak efficiency in a broader range of driving conditions." 

Depending on the application, a TorqueFlite transmission can account for fuel economy improvements of up to nine percent, compared with a more conventional automatic. Fully electronic, the TorqueFlite family's software adapts the transmission's shift patterns to driver behavior and driving conditions such as longitudinal and lateral acceleration; grade steepness; temperature; and electronic stability control activation. 

An established facility producing nearly 60 years-worth of transmissions, the Kokomo Transmission Plant also assembles four- and six-speed transmissions. 

The plant's workforce was formally recognized in December 2014 for its dedication and hard work with a Bronze award in World Class Manufacturing (WCM). Kokomo Transmission employees demonstrated clear know-how and competence in the manufacturing methodology, focusing on eliminating waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and facilities. 

About FCA US LLC

FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA."

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SOURCE FCA US LLC

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