Nine-Speed Transmission Production Begins in Chrysler Tipton Plant


The CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sergio Marchionne, is hoping that Tipton County in Indiana will become a global hub for transmission production. In order to achieve this goal, Chrysler’s plant in the county began to produce the new nine-speed transmissions that will be in many of their upcoming vehicles.

The production has already begun and is expected to bring with it some 815 new jobs to the plant. When the plant begins to operate at full capacity it expects to be producing 800,000 finished gearboxes that will then be routed across the globe to be used in numerous upcoming models such as the Jeep Cherokee and the Chrysler 200.

Chrysler has been making large investments leading up to this point. Since 2009, the company has put in more than $1.6 billion dollars into the Indiana plant and have put 2,600 people to work to get ready for this new transmission.

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Is Electric the Future for Cars?

2013 Fiat 500e

Every industry has the same problem.  No one can predict future trends.  Try as much as they might, the market reacts however it wants.  That’s a problem that the auto industry is going through right now.  How can they prepare for a future that is looking more and more to not be dependent on traditional gas?  Recent developments that have been made with electric cars certainly point to this being the most potential industry.  But CEO of Chrysler Sergio Marchionne questioned whether this would be the case.

Speaking at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress in Detroit, Marchionne brought up the subject the new technologies.  His major critique was against the government adding incentives to the market to convince people to embrace electric cars.

“I believe we should continue to explore the potential of electricity, but without being strong-armed by regulators and in combination with benefits of all other available technologies.”

He continued by adding that he thinks the US should be neutral to technology and has the automakers be the ones that test potentials for alternative fuels.

Currently, the US has a $7,500 federal tax credit for buying a plug-in electric or all-electric vehicle.  While it’s a great incentive to those on the fence about getting one, but the tax credit hasn’t seemed to have made an impact yet.

While Marchionne may not be completely on-board with electric quite yet, it hasn’t stopped the automaker from producing their first all-electric car, the Fiat 500e.  It’s being speculated that Marchionne may be raising warning signs about electrics cars due to the loss the company takes with each vehicle sold.  And that’s after all subsidies.

New technology is difficult to accept especially when it’s taking over for something that’s been ingrained for so long in a products existence.  Only time will tell if electric is the way of the future or if there is something else just wanting to be discovered.

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