Stellantis is investing a total of $229 million in three of its Kokomo, Indiana, plants to help the company reach its goal of achieving 40% low-emission vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030. This announcement comes three months after the company laid out its long-term electrification strategy, where it committed to investing $35 billion through 2025 in electrification and software.
Stellantis says the investment will support retooling of the Kokomo Transmission (KTP), Kokomo Casting and Indiana Transmission plants to produce its fourth-generation eight-speed transmission. This new transmission will have the flexibility to be paired with internal combustion engines, as well as mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid propulsion systems, for vehicles across the Jeep, Ram, Chrysler and Dodge brands. The company says it will deliver improved fuel economy, provide pure-electric range and help vehicles meet future emission regulations.
The new, fourth-generation, eight-speed transmission will capitalize on a number of common parts within the different versions – transmission gear train/clutch, mechatronics, mechanical pump and E-pump motor. It also will have the flexibility for unique parts to adapt to the various electrification options. These parts include the eMotor, torque converter and power electronics.
Adding an electrified transmission assembly also diversifies the product portfolio of the Kokomo operations. In March 2020, Stellantis announced it would invest $400 million to convert Indiana Transmission Plant II to the Kokomo Engine Plant to produce the GMET4 engine, the company’s 2.0-liter Global Medium Engine inline four-cylinder turbo. Production is expected to launch later this year.
This investment also leverages the core manufacturing competencies of the Kokomo operations and the local workforce in the areas of casting, machining and assembly.
KTP celebrated the 5 millionth eight-speed transmission built on Sept. 30. It is the current transmission option on the Jeep Wrangler, Gladiator and Grand Cherokee; Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer; Ram 1500; Dodge Charger, Challenger, Durango; and Chrysler 300 models.