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Chrysler spends $300M to build new transmissions

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Chrysler spends $300M to build new transmissions

Associated Press

Auburn Hills -- Chrysler Group LLC says it will spend $300 million to update its manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Ind., to build new eight-speed transmissions for future vehicles.

Chrysler says the new eight-speed transmissions will be more fuel efficient than traditional five- and six-speed transmissions used in Chrysler vehicles.

The automaker has licensed the manufacturing rights from Germany's ZF Group to build the new transmissions starting in 2013.

Chrysler says the investment will be used to install new equipment and tooling at its transmission and casting plants in Kokomo.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100609/AUTO01/6090391/1148/auto01/Chrysler-spends-$300M-to-build-new-transmissions#ixzz0qN6fQxPP

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Chrysler to build ZF's 8-speed transmission in Indiana

Bradford Wernle

Automotive News -- June 9, 2010 - 11:46 am ET

UPDATED: 6/9/10 12:24 p.m. ET

DETROIT -- Chrysler Group plans to spend $300 million to build a new eight-speed automatic transmission licensed from ZF Group, a transmission maker headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

The investment will pay for installation of special tooling and equipment at Chrysler's Transmission Plant 1 and Kokomo Casting Plant in Indiana and help retain 1,200 jobs there, Chrysler said today. Production will start in 2013.

Meanwhile, Chrysler said it plans to import the transmissions from Germany before production ramps up in Kokomo. Spokesman Nick Cappa said he could not say when the imports would begin.

Paolo Ferrero, Chrysler senior vice president of powertrain, said in a statement that the transmission would contribute to a 25 percent reduction in fuel economy by 2014.

The company did not say which vehicles the transmission would be used in, but it is already being used in rear-drive vehicles made by BMW. Chrysler could use it in the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Jeep Grand Cherokee along with Ram pickups.

Indiana Transmission Plant 1 currently makes the 45 RFE rear-drive transmission for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Dodge Dakota and Ram Trucks and the 68 RFE for the Cummins Diesel engine used in Ram Heavy Duty trucks. Both transmissions are six-speed.

The ZF eight-speed was a 2010 Automotive News PACE Award finalist. The transmission made its debut on the BMW 5-series Gran Turismo and 760Li. The transmission achieves a 6 percent improvement in fuel economy over ZF's current six-speed automatic. It is the same size and lower weight than the six-speed.

The transmission has a modular design that can be adapted to hybrid and all-wheel-drive variants.

“The new eight-speed transmission that we'll be producing in Kokomo will transform our future product line,” Scott Garberding, senior vice president and head of manufacturing for Chrysler, said in the company statement.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100609/OEM01/100609862/1424#ixzz0qOJxG8l2

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Chrysler Plans 8-Speed Automatic Transmission

By Eric Mayne

WardsAuto.com, Jun 9, 2010 10:00 AM

Chrysler Group LLC is pumping $300 million into its transmission manufacturing complex in Kokomo, IN, to accommodate production of a new 8-speed automatic gearbox starting in 2013.

The auto maker does not disclose which vehicles will benefit from the “highly fuel-efficient” transmission. But in today’s market, against a backdrop of looming mandates for fuel-economy improvement, 7/8-speed automatic transmissions are exclusive to rear-wheel-drive architectures.

Chrysler’s fullsize ’11 cars, which consists of the core-brand 300 and Dodge Charger which share a rear-wheel-drive platform, are getting a major overhaul.

And a statement released today by the auto maker does not preclude an 8-speed rollout before production begins at Kokomo.

“Chrysler Group has licensed the manufacturing rights from Friedrichshafen, Germany-based ZF Group to build the new eight-speed beginning in 2013,” the statement says. “Included in this agreement is the purchase of transmissions manufactured by ZF.”

The investment, which will fund the installation of equipment and tooling to upgrade the site’s transmission and casting facilities, while also securing 1,200 jobs, is the second to benefit Kokomo in less than a month.

Chrysler previously laid out $43 million to “support production of the (4-cyl.) World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program.”

The auto maker was similarly mum about the need to improve capacity for 6-speed automatic transmissions. However, Chrysler is the only Detroit OEM not to offer a 6-speed automatic transmission in midsize cars equipped with 4-cyl. engines.

As of model-year ’09, 7/8-speed automatics only could be found in imported luxury cars bearing the Infiniti, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Lexus brands, according to Ward’s data. Like-equipped vehicles accounted for just 9.4% of import cars sold in the U.S.

The technology was absent from all light trucks, as well as the domestic-vehicle population.

BMW Ready With New ZF 8-Speed Automatic

A ZF 8-speed transmission supplied to BMW AG for its V-12-powered 760i and 760iL flagship sedans boasts low friction losses and a taller gear ratio that help deliver a 6% gain in fuel economy.

“The new 8-speed automatic transmission will offer our customers refinement and comfort while achieving greater fuel economy and performance,” Paolo Ferrero, senior vice president-powertrain, says in a statement.

“We look forward to integrating the new transmission into future Chrysler Group products and welcome its contribution to a corporate fuel economy improvement of more than 25% by 2014.”

link:

http://wardsauto.com/ar/chrysler_8-speed_transmission_100609/

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8 is not bad, keeps up w/ the competition. But they really should have leapt forward w/ a 10spd. :)

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8 is not bad, keeps up w/ the competition. But they really should have leapt forward w/ a 10spd. :)

No, no.. 11. That way they'd be one faster.

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No, no.. 11. That way they'd be one faster.

Ah, yeah...then they could say 'it goes to 11'.. :)

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