Chrysler, Getrag in $530-Million Joint Venture

June 22, 2007
Transmission project to benefit Kokomo Casting operation

Chrysler Corp.'s Kokomo Casting and Kokomo Transmission operations in Indiana will benefit directly from the automaker's plans for a new joint-venture transmission manufacturing plant in Tipton County, IN. The dual-clutch transmission plant will be a $530-million project with Getrag Corporate Group, the world's largest independent automotive transmission manufacturer.

The automaker explained that the project is a further element of its $3-billion Powertrain Offensive, to produce a series of more fuel-efficient engines, transmissions, and axles. A core element of this plan is to adopt a common-platform four-cylinder engine, to replace the current series of six engine styles.

The new transmission plant will produce 700,000 dual-clutch transmissions annually. Construction is set to begin this month on the 804,000-ft2 plant, and production is planned to begin in 2009.

Kokomo Casting and Kokomo Transmission will be dedicated to producing parts for the new plant. Kokomo Casting produces aluminum transmission and transaxle cases, and other aluminum diecastings. Kokomo Transmission produces a series of four-speed automatic transmissions for front- and rear-wheel drive vehicles.

Getrag, based in Untergruppenbach, Germany, designs a wide range of transmission systems and powertrain components for passenger cars, SUVs, motorbikes, and light commercial vehicles.

"Dual-clutch transmissions (DCT) provide much better shift quality, driving comfort, and superior fuel efficiency compared to more conventional technologies such as torque converter automatics and/or CVTs," explained Getrag v.p.-Manufacturing Ulrich Kohler. "DCTs replace the energy-sapping torque converters of conventional automatic transmissions with two wet or lubricated clutches - one that engages first, third, and fifth gear, and the other that engages second, fourth, and sixth. As a result, the transmission can deliver a five to 10% improvement in fuel economy."