Five-speeds to Two-liters: Fiat Chrysler Brings Indiana Plant Out of Mothballs

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
five speeds to two liters fiat chrysler brings indiana plant out of mothballs

Not long ago, Subaru announced its intention to bring transmissions to Indiana. Now, Fiat Chrysler plans to replace some of its tranny-building capacity with engine production. Either way, it’s good news for the Hoosier State.

Lost in the shuffle late last week was news that FCA intends to spend $400 million converting the shuttered Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo to a home for the automaker’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

You’ll find that potent mill as an option on the Jeep Wrangler, where it pairs with an eight-speed automatic for fuel economy gains. It also finds an application in the Jeep Cherokee. It seems FCA will need lots more of these mills in the coming years, so the former transmission plant gains an equally imaginative new name: Kokomo Engine Plant.

Currently sourced from Italy, the GMET4 to be built in Indiana starting in first-quarter 2021 has a bright future beneath the hood of a future crop of hybrids. Debuting in FCA’s U.S. lineup for 2018, the engine dons the mild-hybrid “eTorque” label when used in the Wrangler; Cherokees see no light electric assist.

The 2.0L turbo is “a very important engine for us as we look to deliver on the promises we made as part of our five-year plan in 2018,” said FCA North America Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart in a statement.

“While the 2.0-liter is a current engine option on the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee models, a significant number of new technologies can be applied to this engine, making it relevant for the future,” he added. “It will play an important role in our plans to offer electric engine options across 30 nameplates that FCA will bring to markets around the world by 2022.”

The Jeep brand will factor very heavily in this product push.

Built starting in 2002, Indiana Transmission Plant II was one of several FCA facilities to host transmission assembly in the state; it was the first to close. The plant built its last five-speed automatic in 2018 and was idled the following year.

The automaker expects the plant’s new mission to preserve 1,000 jobs on-site while adding 200 others.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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5 of 28 comments
  • Cprescott Cprescott on Mar 10, 2020

    Aren't there enough trannies that don't know what bathroom to use? Why would we want to build more of them?

  • John John on Mar 10, 2020

    This article is sooo of the mark in regards to factual Information. The GME4 engine family is composed two series of engines. One created for European Alfa Romeo vehicles, produced at the FCA Italian Termoli factory and the "Hurricane" version produced at the Trenton Engine Plant for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge. The Kokomo plant will supplement the Trenton plant, and Kokomo will likely be the first FCA engine plant that will produce the GME Inline Six, The Mopar “Tornado”?.

    • See 2 previous
    • Morea Morea on Mar 11, 2020

      "The GME4 engine family is composed two series of engines. One created for European Alfa Romeo vehicles, produced at the FCA Italian Termoli factory and the “Hurricane” version produced at the Trenton Engine Plant for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge." Can anyone confirm, Are these engines identical? Or does the Italian version have a Multiair head, and the American engine a different (DOHC) head? Web searching gives sparse, confusing information.

  • SCE to AUX Love it, and the price is a bargain, actually. The clean exterior is nice.Also, this caught my attention: "105mm throttle body"... that's a lot of air flow.
  • Tassos I predict this will be a big hit and conquer new markets. Housewives will be lining up to grab them, and the dealers will charge $200k a unit. Why? Because they already buy SUVs and crossovers they never needed, which have much less interior space than their minivans. So they will sacrifice a bit more of that space, but at least they will not drive identical looking crossovers with their accursed neighbor's wife.I also predict the Tesla Plaid and even lesses Teslas will beat the living daylights of this idiotic vehicle, and without even breaking a sweat.
  • Bobbysirhan I fully expect to be reading about the last-of-the-line Challenger Demon 170 Redeye Widebody three years from now.
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  • Analoggrotto The real question, how many years or months after the end of production will this vehicle be completely eliminated from the street? Neon lights, yellow spoiler covers, idiotic stripes, brazzers license plate frames, obnoxious exhausts and all.