Chrysler would invest $162 million in transmission plant, create 850 jobs
Several steps still needed for project to move forward
Chrysler Group wants to invest nearly $162 million in an Indiana plant finished in 2008 but never occupied because of a failed joint venture and Chrysler's bankruptcy.
The plant would produce nine-speed front-wheel-drive automatic transmissions and create 850 jobs, according to documents submitted to the county.
The Tipton County council is scheduled to consider a tax abatement request from Chrysler on Tuesday for the 781,500-square-foot factory in Tipton, 41 miles north of Indianapolis.
The Board of Tipton County Commissioners already approved the request this morning, a Chrysler spokesperson confirmed.
"While we appreciate their support, there are several more steps that need to be completed before we can fully confirm our plans for Tipton," Chrysler said in a statement. "We understand the enormous interest in a potential new project, but for confidentiality reasons, we can offer no further details at this time."
The empty plant was the planned location of a joint venture between the former Chrysler LLC and German supplier Getrag. The companies had intended to make dual-clutch transmissions for Chrysler vehicles, but the venture fell apart in late 2008.
Chrysler just launched its first vehicle with a dual dry clutch transmission -- the 2013 Dodge Dart -- which uses the Fiat-sourced transmission as an optional gearbox with its turbocharged 1.4-liter engine.
The $530 million joint-venture plant, about a half-hour south of Chrysler's Kokomo, Ind., transmission complex, originally was scheduled to employ about 1,200 to make dual-clutch transmissions. The joint venture dissolved and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in November 2008.
After the joint venture dissolved, Abound Solar Inc. of Loveland, Colo., made plans to build solar panels at the plant. But increased foreign competition in that industry caused Abound Solar to abandon its plans this year.
The building and 106-acre property were sold in 2010 to Colorado real estate developer W.W. Reynolds for $25 million, a quarter of its original price. The property had been listed recently for a price of $39.5 million.
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