Construction on $530M Getrag plant on hold

Work on a $530 million automotive transmission plant near Tipton has ground to a halt over a dispute between its partners, Chrysler LLC and German transmission maker Getrag.

Construction stopped Dec. 21, ostensibly for a holiday break, but the work hasn’t resumed, according the Kokomo Tribune.

Without naming its sources, the newspaper reported that the price of the transmissions and how many would be produced for Chrysler are among issues the parties are addressing. The plant is to build fuel-efficient dual-clutch transmissions for Chrysler, which was acquired from Daimler-Chrysler in October by the private equity firm Cerberus.

When complete in 2009, the plant is expected to employ 1,400 workers, including 1,170 at the plant and 230 more in support positions in Kokomo.

An Indiana Economic Development Corp. spokesman said IEDC is talking with the parties, and that the joint venture won’t receive the $12.7 million in tax breaks it was promised if it doesn’t fulfill its promise to create at least 1,400 jobs.

Still, the spokesman, Mitch Frazier, said he expects the project will continue.

The site is at U.S. 31 and State Road 28 north of Indianapolis.

The project was announced in June.

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