Chrysler suit could threaten Getrag project

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Chrysler LLC has sued Getrag, the German transmission maker that’s building a $530 million plant north of Indianapolis, claiming Getrag breached its contract by failing to obtain financing for the project.

Chrysler also said that it is not obligated to reimburse Getrag for Getrag’s costs for the project, according to The Kokomo Tribune.

The suit, which caught local officials by surprise, leaves the future of the rural Tipton project up in the air, the newspaper said.

The plant was one of the biggest economic development prizes of the year when it was announced in June 2007. The plant is expected to open in September 2009 and employ 1,400 workers. Most of the fuel-saving dual-clutch wet transmissions produced at the plant are slated to be purchased by Chrysler.

Construction on the sprawling factory continued yesterday.

The lawsuit isn’t the first time the parties have come to loggerheads. Progress ground to a halt for two months beginning in December last year over an undisclosed dispute between the companies.

Both Chrysler and the U.S. offices of Getrag are in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills.

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