KOKOMO — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday officially unveiled plans to repurpose its idled transmission plant in Kokomo to built a new Jeep engine.
News of the company's planned $400 million investment in the Howard County plan were announced in January as part of Gov. Eric Holcomb's State of the State address.
The plant will build the GMET4 engine, the company's 2.0-liter Global Medium Engine inline four-cylinder turbo that is currently offered on the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee. As part of the investment, the company said 1,000 Indiana jobs will be retained with nearly 200 new jobs added to support production. The company's total employment in the state will be more than 8,300 with the new jobs.
"The GMET4 will be a very important engine for us as we look to deliver on the promises we made as part of our five-year plan in 2018," Mark Stewart, FCA's chief operating officer, said. "While the 2.0-liter is a current engine option on the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee models, a significant number of new technologies can be applied to this engine, making it relevant for the future. It will play an important role in our plans to offer electric engine options across 30 nameplates that FCA will bring to markets around the world by 2022."
The new facility will be the source of all U.S. production for the engine currently being built in Termoli, Italy, the company said. Production is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2021.
The company has built transmissions in Indiana for more than eight decades, with more than 90 million built since record keeping began in 1974. This will mark the first time the company has built engines in the state.