Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

May 15, 2014

Transmissions drive new plan

Awakening from a five-week, self-imposed information cocoon, Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne unveiled a five-year plan for Chrysler Group LLC in November 2009.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight was among the 400 analysts, guests and journalists who attended Marchionne’s announcement in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Chrysler’s CEO asked the mayor to a get-together following the presentation.

Marchionne himself addressed and signed the invitation to Goodnight. It suggested to us Kokomo’s Chrysler facilities and then-4,400 employees were a part of the company’s five-year plan. We predicted a new transmission line could be in Kokomo’s future.

We were right. Chrysler announced a new transmission line for Kokomo in 2010. The $343 million investment would produce today’s eight-speed transmissions and retain 1,184 Kokomo jobs.

Later that year, President Obama visited town the same day Marchionne announced another transmission line for the area. The price tag on the investment — which later turned out to be a nine-speed line — was $843 million and would preserve 2,250 jobs.

Last year, Marchionne returned to Kokomo to announce 1,250 jobs for the area: 850 jobs at the former Getrag Transmission plant in Tipton and 400 jobs in Kokomo. And Tuesday, the Chrysler CEO was at the Tipton facility, where nine-speed transmissions had begun production just three weeks prior to the visit.

Since the announcement of Marchionne’s first five-year plan for Chrysler, the company has invested $1.6 billion and added 2,600 jobs in the Kokomo area. Its four transmission plants will have the capacity to produce 800,000 units annually. And if all goes well, Chrysler could employ 7,350 in north central Indiana by 2015 — a 60 percent increase in its local workforce in just six years.

UAW Local 685 president Rich Boruff gave a heartfelt and emotional thank-you to Marchionne in Tipton Tuesday, but the boss deflected praise and heaped encouragement upon his employees.

“You are the authors of a major success story,” he told them, “creating a great turnaround and making it possible to create the need for this new plant in Tipton.”

Marchionne announced a new five-year plan for Chrysler just last week. And like the last one, Kokomo and Tipton transmissions will help drive it.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • State aims at outbreaks More than 200 Western School Corp. students were vaccinated for chickenpox after an outbreak in March 2012.The virus was confirmed to have infected five fifth-graders, the Howard County Health Department reported. It acted quickly to prevent the infe

    July 22, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • LETTERS: Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA? Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA?Let’s see ... Mr. Don Villwock, Indiana Farm Bureau president, wants the FDA to define what genetically engineered foods are, and then he wants it to be optional or voluntary for food companies to tell consumers

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • LETTERS: Show support where you spend money Show support where you spend moneyReinvest in your community. It is something you hear often, but what does it mean and how do you effectively do it?Thankfully, there are people in our community who can give six-figure donations to projects like the

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: All of Indy must step forward All of Indy must step forwardIt has been a brutal week, one filled with violence, suffering, mourning and reflection.The brutality began on the night of July 4, when two women were shot and wounded on the Eastside. Police found 30 bullet casings in t

    July 21, 2014

  • Testament to our youth We hear complaints — all the time — from campaigning politicians, TV pundits and lobbyists peddling “family values.” The federal government, they say, has “taken God out of our schools.”God never left. Not here. Kokomo City Hall, the United Way of Ho

    July 20, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll