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Chrysler set to celebrate Indiana factory's opening

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Chrysler is set to mark the opening of a new transmission plant in central Indiana with a ceremony next month that will include the company's top executive.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to take part in the May 13 grand-opening event at the factory along U.S. 31 about 30 miles north of Indianapolis, the company said.

The company started testing new transmissions assembled at the factory last month, the Kokomo Tribune reported. Chrysler is looking to start shipping transmissions from the plant by mid-May.

Chrysler expects to have up to 850 workers at the factory, with a goal of it producing 400,000 transmissions by year's end.

German auto parts maker Getrag started building the plant in 2007 in a partnership with Chrysler before the automaker pulled out amid the recession. Chrysler announced last year it would spend about $160 million to finish the vacant factory.

Marchionne is expected to speak the same day at Indiana University Kokomo's commencement, during which he'll receive an honorary degree.

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie said Marchionne was being honored with engineering "one of the most dramatic rescue-and-recovery efforts in the history of the American auto industry."

Since Marchionne took over Chrysler in 2009, the company has added about 2,600 jobs in Indiana between the Tipton plant and four factories in nearby Kokomo. The automaker now has about 7,100 hourly employees in the Kokomo area.

"I think Marchionne and Chrysler have put together a plan, they've implemented the plan, and it has been successful," Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said. "The people I talk to who work there, including (union) members, have bought into the business model they've created, and so far, so good."

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  1. Why should I a home owner pay for this"car sharing" ????

  2. By the way, the right to work law is intended to prevent forced union membership, not as a way to keep workers in bondage as you make it sound, Italiano. If union leadership would spend all of their funding on the workers, who they are supposed to be representing, instead of trying to buy political favor and living lavish lifestyles as a result of the forced membership, this law would never had been necessary.

  3. Unions once served a noble purpose before greed and apathy took over. Now most unions are just as bad or even worse than the ills they sought to correct. I don't believe I have seen a positive comment posted by you. If you don't like the way things are done here, why do you live here? It would seem a more liberal environment like New York or California would suit you better?

  4. just to clear it up... Straight No Chaser is an a capella group that formed at IU. They've toured nationally typically doing a capella arangements of everything from Old Songbook Standards to current hits on the radio.

  5. This surprises you? Mayor Marine pulled the same crap whenhe levered the assets of the water co up by half a billion $$$ then he created his GRAFTER PROGRAM called REBUILDINDY. That program did not do anything for the Ratepayors Water Infrastructure Assets except encumber them and FORCE invitable higher water and sewer rates on Ratepayors to cover debt coverage on the dough he stole FROM THE PUBLIC TRUST. The guy is morally bankrupt to the average taxpayer and Ratepayor.

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