Chrysler invests $843M in Indiana plant for high-tech transmissions

Chrysler and President Barack Obama announced today that the automaker will invest $843 million into an Indiana plant to build Fiat-sourced transmissions.

It's no secret that Chrysler will begin producing a version of a ZF-developed Fiat dual-clutch transmission in North America, but the automaker just made it official by announcing a $843 million investment into its Kokomo, Indiana, plant.

The dual-clutch transmission will be one of the first tangible evidences of Fiat technology entering Chrysler's product pipeline, although future powertrain and platform sharing is already under development.

The plant, located about 45 minutes north of Indianapolis, will be visited by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden today for the announcement.

Chrysler plans to build the six-speed dual-clutch transmission in Kokomo before installing it in Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger sedans built in Michigan. Four-cylinder variants of both vehicles will receive the transmission early next year.

The automaker will also use its Kokomo plant to build an eight-speed automatic unit for rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Currently, the Kokomo plant builds a variety of five-speed automatic units used in the automaker's SUVs, pickups and large trucks.

So far, Chrysler has invested around $3 billion into its North American assembly plants since being bailed out by the U.S. government in 2009.