Stellantis Plans $229 Million Investment Ahead of Electrification Boom
Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler and Jeep, announced it would invest a total of $229 million in three of its Kokomo, Indiana plants. The move comes as the company attempts to reach its goal of achieving 40 percent low-emission (EVs and plug-ins) vehicle sales in the United States by 2030. Landing just three months after the company laid out its long-awaited electrification strategy, the announcement also detailed this investment will retain 662 jobs as it commits $35 billion in electrification and software through 2025.
The investment also includes the retooling of the Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting, and Indiana Transmission plants that will be tasked with producing the fourth-generation eight-speed transmission. New on the scene, this forthcoming transmission will have the flexibility to be mated to traditional combustion engines, as well as mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains as well. Vehicles across the Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and Chrysler lineups will all benefit from this development. Improved fuel economy is expected as the upcoming fourth-generation transmission will help provide an all-electric range all while meeting future emission regulations.
“This investment and this transmission represent an important stepping stone in getting us to 2030 and further expanding our battery-electric offerings. 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. It also offers consumers the opportunity to get familiar with this technology and explore all of the benefits that can come from electrification,” said Head of Powertrain Operations for Stellantis, Brad Clark.
The fourth-generation transmission will rely on a number of standard parts with four different versions, including transmission gear train/clutch, mechanical pump, E-pump motor, and mechatronics. Additionally, the added flexibility will allow the fourth-generation transmission to adapt to various electrification options thanks to the inclusion of new parts like eMotor, a torque converter, and power electronics.
With the addition of the electrified transmission assembly, Stellantis also diversifies its product portfolio in the Kokomo operations. Back in March 2020, Stellantis first announced it would invest $400 million to convert the existing Indiana Transmission Plant II into the Kokomo Engine Plant that’ll produce the GMMET4 engine, the manufacturer’s 2.0-liter Global Medium Engine inline four-cylinder turbo. Production is slated to begin later this year (2021). This investment also leverages plenty of the Kokomo operations such as the local workforce that handles machining, casting, and assembling — three basics that’ll be in demand for an electrified future.
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