Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

February 28, 2013

‘It’s awful good news’

The issue: Chrysler’s announcement that it will add 1,250 jobs to the Kokomo area.

Our view: The city has become an invaluable part of the automaker’s turnaround.

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.

Seventy-five percent of Chrysler’s cars, SUVs and trucks would be brand new or altered by the end of 2010. By 2012, all would be made over. Four new Dodges would be introduced by 2013.

If all goes according to plan, Marchionne said, Chrysler will see a $5 billion operating profit in 2014.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight was among the 400 analysts, guests and journalists who attended Marchionne’s announcement in Auburn Hills, Mich., that November in 2009. 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 ... and the mayor was, too, in visiting Turin, Italy — headquarters of Fiat. Some in Kokomo criticized Goodnight for the trip in July 2010 with Howard County Commissioner Tyler Moore, then-director of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, Jeb Conrad, and representatives of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Business retention is as much a part of economic development as landing a new company. The Kokomo contingent helped make the case to Fiat that Kokomo could be an invaluable part of Chrysler’s turnaround.

Chrysler announced a new transmission line for Kokomo in 2010. The $343 million investment would produce 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 Kokomo. 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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • It's time to deal with crisis For five and a half years, the president has gone around Congress to ignore, defy and alter laws in a variety of areas, from Obamacare implementation to issuing excessive new labor and environmental rules to infringing on religious freedom. It is no

    August 21, 2014

  • Nation must be united On Aug. 9, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, by a police officer. Since that time, protestors and unrest have filled the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a town near St. Louis.A similar scenario

    August 21, 2014

  • John understands fight against mental illness Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide.Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a major league baseball pitch

    August 21, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor Former Kokomoan on FergusonI was a resident of Kokomo from 1992 to 2008. Because of the housing crisis, my wife and I relocated to the St. Louis, Missouri area, which is close to where I grew up. With the eyes of the world focused upon the St. Louis

    August 21, 2014

  • OPN - KT082014 - king What Fergusonsays about us Aug. 9 is a day that Americans lost sight of themselves. It is the day Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager of Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. That evening, and for all but o

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the editor Congrats on wind farm defeat Congratulations to the citizens of Kokomo and Howard County! Your officials have done you a great favor by stopping any further considerations for construction of industrial wind turbines in your area. Now, if the fede

    August 20, 2014

  • Cleaning up voter rolls Citizens should expect the voting process for electing government representatives at all levels to be efficient and of the highest integrity. Indiana's system in recent years has at times been manipulated for political purposes -- the voter ID system

    August 20, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: First Amendment assault in Ferguson

    Of all the outrageous and disturbing story lines emanating from Ferguson, Missouri, since unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, the targeting of journalists during the ensuing protests ranks among the most troubling.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mopeds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana. A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 19, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Craft brewers and vintners returned sprits to Indiana State Fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week.When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putti

    August 19, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers
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