Chrysler Group is one step closer to a new transmission plant in Indiana after a local council approved a tax abatement late Tuesday.
The Tipton County Council approved a10-year tax abatement worth $2.5 million, according to the Kokomo Tribune, a local newspaper.
The Board of Tipton County Commissioners approved the request Monday.
Chrysler wants to invest $162 million in the plant, which would produce nine-speed front-wheel-drive automatic transmissions and create 850 jobs.
Now Chrysler is moving to the next phase.
"The next step is now that we have all of the abatements. Now we have to build a business case and consider our investment strategy," a Chrysler spokeswoman said this morning. "We're going to take our time and we're going assess the situation."
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.