Stellantis is investing $229 million to retool three Indiana plants to build its new flexible eight-speed transmission that can be used in both electrified vehicles and those with conventional setups.
The Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting and Indiana Transmission plants, all in the city of Kokomo, will be key cogs in the automaker's electrification strategy. Stellantis said in July that it is investing more than $35 billion through 2025 in electrification and software and plans to have four electric vehicle platforms that support driving ranges of 300 to 500 miles.
Stellantis has set a goal of having electrified vehicles account for more than 40 percent of U.S. sales by 2030.
The next-generation transmission will deliver improved fuel economy, the automaker said, and help the company meet "future emission regulations." The company said the transmissions, which can be paired with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid propulsion systems along with traditional internal combustion engine layouts, will be installed in Jeep, Ram, Chrysler and Dodge models.
The investment will retain 662 jobs.
"This investment and this transmission represent an important steppingstone in getting us to 2030 and further expanding our battery electric offerings," Stellantis Head of Powertrain Operations Brad Clark said in a statement. "This new eight-speed is the 'multi-tool' of transmissions. It is a versatile transmission that can be adapted for a variety of applications, allowing us the flexibility to adjust our production as consumer demand for electrified vehicles grows over the next decade."