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Delphi to add 190 jobs in Kokomo

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Delphi Corp. brought some good news to the beleaguered city of Kokomo on Friday, announcing plans open a production facility there, creating about 190 jobs by 2014.

The company, which supplies electronics for the automotive and commercial vehicle industries, said it will invest more than $59 million to lease and equip a 90,000-square-foot facility in Kokomo to make electronics products for electric cars.

Troy, Mich.-based Delphi already employs about 1,400 at its Electronics & Safety division in Kokomo. The company plans to begin hiring workers for the new facility in 2010.

Last week, Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission said it has entered a long-term agreement with Delphi, which will supply hybrid drive-system components and energy storage. The parts will be used in Allison’s products made for the city-transit bus and truck markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In August, Delphi won an $89.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to produce power electronics for electric vehicles.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Delphi up to $2.2 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $70,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. The company is finalizing a property tax abatement application with the city of Kokomo.

"This was a highly competitive process, and we're very pleased that Delphi has chosen to invest and grow in our community," said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. "This decision demonstrates the strength of our workforce and the quality of our community. We look forward to assisting Delphi in any way we can, as we continue to build on the decades-long partnership between the company and the city of Kokomo."

Delphi's planned expansion follows information technology firm Zuna Infotech's October announcement that it will establish its headquarters at Kokomo's Inventrek Technology Park, creating up to 400 new jobs by 2012.

Manufacturing-heavy Kokomo has struggled in recent years as major employers—including Delphi and Chrysler Corp.—have laid off hundreds of workers there. In November, Howard County's unemployment rate stood at 12.1 percent, worse than the 9.6 percent statewide rate.

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