Chrysler Transmission Plant Gets $266 Million Investment
Broader Use of Eight-Speed Automatic Prompts Expansion
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has revealed plans for a major expansion at their Kokomo, Indiana, transmission plant in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Automotive News reports. Chrysler already extensively employs eight-speed automatics across most of its rear-wheel-drive lineup, including the Dodge Charger, Challenger, Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Ram 1500 trucks. The only notable current holdout is the JK Jeep Wrangler, which reportedly cannot accommodate the eight-speed transmission.
The next-generation Wrangler is widely expected to adopt the eight-speed transmission for improved fuel economy, long a weak spot for the Wrangler. The announcement follows yesterday’s news of the Pentastar V-6 engine family being upgraded with direct injection and turbocharging to improve fuel economy and performance.
The race to deliver ever-better fuel economy is heating up most intensely in the fullsize truck segment, with the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel the current champion at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway and with Ford’s 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 coming in at a EPA-rated 19 city and 26 highway. Before the introduction of the EcoDiesel and the 2015 F-150, the Ram 1500 with the Pentastar held the title of most fuel-efficient fullsize truck with a top rating of 18 mpg city and 25 highway.
Source: Automotive News