KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Automaker Stellantis plans to spend nearly $230 million on retooling three Indiana factories so they can produce transmission systems that work with both traditional gasoline-powered vehicles and gas-electric hybrid versions.
Company executives joined state and local officials in announcing the project Thursday at the Kokomo Transmission Plant. The investment by the company that combined Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot will also involve the Kokomo Casting and the Indiana Transmission plants in Kokomo.
In July, Stellantis outlined its plans for a major push toward electric vehicles, saying nearly all of its models in Europe and North America will have fully electric or plug-in gas-electric hybrid versions by 2025. The new transmission that will be built in Kokomo will be used in various Jeep, Ram, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles, the company said.
Stellantis executive Brad Clark said the Kokomo project is key toward the company’s goal of having 40% of its U.S. sales be low-emission vehicles by 2030.
“This investment and this transmission represent an important stepping stone in getting us to 2030 and further expanding our battery electric offerings,” Clark said.
Stellantis said the project would help retain about 660 jobs at the Kokomo plants, which now have roughly 6,000 workers. About 900 more employees work at the company’s nearby Tipton Transmission Plant.
The company announced last year that it would spend $400 million to convert its Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo into an engine factory. Production is expected to start later this year at the factory, which is projected add 200 workers