The one millionth TorqueFlite 845RE eight-speed automatic transmission produced at the FCA US LLC Kokomo Transmission Plant (Ind.) rolled off the assembly line today. The occasion was marked with a celebratory town hall to recognize the nearly 3,000 hourly employees whose commitment made the milestone possible.
“This is a significant accomplishment and one that every Kokomo Transmission Plant employee should be proud of,” said Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America. “They have dedicated themselves to producing a high quality, technologically advanced transmission that is, in part, responsible for the success of some of our most popular vehicles.
“And while working to keep up with demand, the team was simultaneously able to reach the first award level of World Class Manufacturing,” said Harlow. “As the plant marks 60 years of transmission production, I congratulate them on this achievement and am confident that we can count them to build another million.”
Powering six vehicles – the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango, and Ram 1500 – the advanced technology transmission is projected to save vehicle owners more than 700 million gallons of fuel, and reduce combined CO2 emissions by more than six million metric tonnes.
In total, FCA US, formerly Chrysler Group, has invested nearly $860 million to launch and expand production of the eight-speed transmission at Kokomo Transmission since 2010:
- June 2010: announced $300 million investment to produce a new, fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission
- December 2010: confirmed an additional investment of $85 million
- February 2013: invested $212 million in its transmissions operations to produce eight- and nine-speeds
- December 2014: announced a $216 million investment to increase capacity of the TorqueFlite 845RE eight-speed.
“The TorqueFlite program has had a profound impact on our vehicle lineup and has benefitted our customers,” said Jeffrey Lux, Vice President – Transmission Powertrain, FCA North America. “The transmissions deliver superior performance and allow the powertrain to operate at peak efficiency in a broader range of driving conditions.”
Depending on the application, a TorqueFlite transmission can account for fuel economy improvements of up to nine percent, compared with a more conventional automatic. Fully electronic, the TorqueFlite family’s software adapts the transmission’s shift patterns to driver behavior and driving conditions such as longitudinal and lateral acceleration; grade steepness; temperature; and electronic stability control activation.
An established facility producing nearly 60 years-worth of transmissions, the Kokomo Transmission Plant also assembles four- and six-speed transmissions.
The plant’s workforce was formally recognized in December 2014 for its dedication and hard work with a Bronze award in World Class Manufacturing (WCM). Kokomo Transmission employees demonstrated clear know-how and competence in the manufacturing methodology, focusing on eliminating waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and facilities.