By on March 10, 2020


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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28 Comments on “Five-speeds to Two-liters: Fiat Chrysler Brings Indiana Plant Out of Mothballs...”

  • avatar

    Burn it with fire.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Great news! More American jobs in the heartland!

    • 0 avatar

      I am truly amazed at the American economic come-back since Nov 2016. Let’s have four-more-years of these good times because “Happy Days Are Here Again!”

      • 0 avatar

        The data shows that the current expansion began in Q3 of 2009, and has continued ever since. Current events may change that, we’ll have to wait and see.

        • 0 avatar

          yeah, the unemployment rate declined fastest from 2010-2016, yet somehow people are all too happy to give Trump credit for it. they must be getting senile and can’t remember anything from before a year ago.

          • 0 avatar

            Employment in the manufacturing sector did not improve until Trump became President.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @JimZ: This century the greatest increase in the NYSE was 2009 at 24.8%. The greatest increase in the Dow Jones took place in 2013 at 26.5%.

            I believe that the POTUS for both of these was named Obama?

            Meanwhile under the current POTUS the US national debt is growing at historically high peace time rates. And what nation is purchasing this debt?

            The US economy was following a trend/wave as it always does, which had been established during the Obama administration and which has been ‘goosed’ the last few years by government spending. Much like someone can ‘improve their living standards’ by using their credit.

            But what happens when all that borrowed money has to be paid back?

          • 0 avatar

            “@JimZ: This century the greatest increase in the NYSE was 2009 at 24.8%. The greatest increase in the Dow Jones took place in 2013 at 26.5%.

            I believe that the POTUS for both of these was named Obama?”

            *FAKE NEWS!*


      • 0 avatar

        Not much to worry about there with the Dems fielding an impressive roster of 2 decrepit old men with failing brains and laughable, at best, chances. The next 4 years is gonna be a hard one for some of these Romper Room alumni.

  • avatar

    Wow, if there’s a town that needs a shot in the arm, it’s Kokomo. It used to be part of my territory when I had a sales job in the late ’80s, and they were hurting even then. Probably VERY welcome news.

    • 0 avatar

      Yup. They still have the big Tipton transmission plant nearby, but Komomo has really been gutted as bad as any other Indiana GM town (Anderson, Muncie, etc). A friend of a friend was looking to hire folks for a small manufacturing business and it’s gotten damn near impossible to find folks that will pass a drug screen locally, he’s resorted to hiring people from down in Indy. A lot of the Rust Belt felt the double whammy of job loss coupled to the opioid crisis (and there’s a correlation there I’m sure).

  • avatar

    IMO, this engine lacks top-end zing for Alfa applications but I’d go for it if I was buying a Wrangler. Not sure what it is like in the Cherokee.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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”?.

    • 0 avatar

      Then can we make the educated guess that the I-6 will share certain architectural similarities with the 2.0T so that they can use the same manufacturing equipment for various steps in the process?

      (I.E. – when GM made I-4s and V6s that were cut down V8s so that they could use the same machining equipment.)

    • 0 avatar

      The eTorque 2.0L in the Wrangler comes from Termoli. The non-eTorque in the Cherokee and available in the Wrangler are supplied by Trenton at the moment.

    • 0 avatar

      “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.

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