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Kokomo plants benefit from 'clunkers' program

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The federal government’s popular Cash for Clunkers program that ended Monday gave a boost to Kokomo’s Chrysler plants.

Altogether, 200 Chrysler Group LLC employees were called back to three plants — 136 at the Kokomo Transmission plant, 42 at Indiana Transmission Plant I and 22 at the Kokomo Casting Plant, according to the Kokomo Tribune.

The Kokomo plants make transmissions for Chrysler’s Town and Country minivan, which is assembled in Canada.

Italy's Fiat took ownership of most of Chrysler's assets in June, a move that saved the troubled U.S. automaker from bankruptcy liquidation.

Chrysler’s automobiles accounted for 8.3 percent of all vehicles sold under the Cash for Clunkers program—well below Toyota’s leading 19.2-percent share.

Cash for Clunkers, which offered drivers as much as $4,500 off the price of a new, more fuel-efficient car, proved wildly popular. With the rebates, dealers reported selling 625,000 vehicles in just a month.

The government had set the Monday deadline on estimates that most of the $3 billion set aside for rebates would be used up by then. Analysts initially figured the cash would last as long as November.

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