Chrysler Group plans to expand production of its eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmissions by investing $266 million in its massive Kokomo, Ind., transmission complex.
On Dec. 8, the Kokomo Common Council approved a 10-year tax abatement Chrysler requested for the project.
The eight-speed automatic is built by Chrysler in Kokomo under license from ZF Friedrichshafen. Chrysler has said it wants to extend use of the eight-speed into all of its rwd vehicles except the Dodge Viper and certain heavy-duty Ram pickups.
As Automotive News first reported, that would include the Jeep Wrangler, which has a five-speed automatic and is being redesigned for the 2018 model year.
The eight-speed delivers up to 9 percent better fuel economy than the five-speed and six-speed transmissions it replaced in Chrysler vehicles, the company said.
The $266 million would be in addition to the $1.5 billion that the automaker already has invested in the 3.1-million-square-foot complex since 2009. Chrysler employs about 7,600 people at the facility.