Chrysler plans $162 million plant, 850 jobs in Tipton

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect value for the 10-year tax abatement approved by Tipton County officials Monday.

Chrysler Group LLC plans to spend $162 million to open a transmission plant in Tipton that will employ up to 850 people, the automaker disclosed Monday morning.

Tipton officials on Monday approved a 10-year tax abatement worth $2.5 million to help the company launch production in an existing, nearly 800,000-square-foot plant at U.S. 31 and State Road 28, about 25 miles north of Carmel.

The plant, which is about a half-hour south of the company’s transmission plants in Kokomo, never has been occupied. Chrysler partnered with Getrag Transmission of Germany in 2007 to build the plant, which had been expected to employ 1,200 and make dual-clutch transmissions. But that partnership unraveled the next year, halting construction of the plant.

Chrysler now says it will use the plant to make a new line of nine-speed transmissions. The company said it hopes to begin installing equipment at the facility in June 2013, which would allow it to launch operations by the end of 2014.

The automaker has been growing rapidly in central Indiana in recent years, adding about 1,000 jobs in Kokomo since emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in 2009.

The Tipton project isn't the only expansion Chrysler is proposing for north-central Indiana. Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson confirmed Friday that the automaker has asked Kokomo to approve additional tax abatements for another investment, but she wouldn't discuss details.

Kokomo officials are expected to vote on that request Monday night.

Brian Harlow, the vice president of Chrysler's power train division, said Monday that booming demand coupled with the government's looming fuel-efficiency mandates have pushed the company's Kokomo factories toward capacity.

The company needs more lines to produce the nine-speed transmissions designed by German firm ZF Group.

Harlow said the Kokomo expansion plans are "tied into" the Tipton County project, but he would not release further information.

This will be Tipton County's third attempt to fill the massive building and Chrysler's second attempt to inhabit it.

After Getrag abandoned plans for the plant, Colorado-based solar panel maker Abound Solar received a $400 million federal loan guarantee in 2010 to launch operations in the facility. But the company filed for bankruptcy liquidation earlier this year, scuttling the plan.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.





  • Pay your fair share
    It's time these company's start to pay there fair share of taxes. they dont need more taxpayer money given to them. these huge company's act like doing business in this country is free, and they wonder why our gov't is going broke. this is why, along w/ the outrageous spending. STOP THE FREEBIE TAX BREAKS TO MULTI BILLION DOLLAR COMPANIES!
  • Thanks Mitch
    Another miracle of Daylight Savings Time!!HoooooooRaaaaayyyyyyyy!!
  • Corrections
    You might want to conduct more (some?)research. First of all, the article was about Chrysler, not GM. I'm not sure I follow your math. The IBJ wrote an article on February 26, 2012 that informed us how Kokomo has faired during the ups and downs of the auto industry recently. It also said "Chrysler and Fiat have paid back all but $1.3 billion of Chrysler's $12.5 billion bailout." Ironically, this remaining amount is also mentioned later in the article. "Flash forward. The U.S. auto industry has staged an amazing comeback, and the town's largest employer, Chrysler, has pledged to invest nearly $1.3 billion into its plants here, added about 1,000 workers and helped boost Kokomo's fortunes — it was honored in 2011 by the state chamber of commerce as Community of the Year." I am perfectly fine with them using the $1.3 Billion to create 1,000 new jobs. Taking their $49M abatement and dividing it by the number of workers of 850 to get to $57K doesn't make sense to me. The $49M is over a 10 year period, or $4.9M a year. This means just $5,765 per employee, per year. Certainly we can agree that amount of money will be returned in increased tax revenue from these employees, right? That doesn't even take into consideration the fact that they have "added 1,000 jobs in Kokomo since emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in 2009." Sorry, occupational hazard I'm afraid - accountants can be sticklers for the numbers actually making sense. I see this announcement as a WIN-WIN for this area of Indiana. Who are you referring to when you mention "the locals"? Are you referring to the 850 local employees that would now have jobs? I'm confused. The Queen of the Adding Machine
  • GMC?
    You do realize it's Chrysler, not GMC, right? And yes, tax incentives were used. It seems your argument is that, based on a fantastical belief that a company may someday open up the plant and create those jobs without government incentive, you would rather pass on the jobs now. Is that right? I think you'll find that most will disagree. For four years people have complained about the loss of jobs in Indiana, specifically manufacturing jobs. Now that some are being created you're complaining about the method in which they are created. Some people are never happy...
  • Corporate Welfare
    Yes, we need jobs and it's good that GMC is deciding to use a newly built plant that's never been used. However, the $49M abatement (probably property tax) is equal to $57K per job. At 25% taxes (state and fed), the local is giving away $57K and getting back about 10%, $5700 in local and state income taxes per job. The rest goes to the bottom line of GM, Government Motors. Still, that's about $12M in revenues the government (fed, state, local) would not have gotten. But it's 36M they won't get. If they need it (which the property tax says they do), then it will come out of the local's pockets. This happens everywhere.

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