Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers joined local officials and executives from Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and UAW leaders to announce the company’s plans to invest $229 million in its Kokomo operations to support its goal of achieving 40% low-emission vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030. The news comes three months after the company rolled out its long-term electrification strategy, which includes a commitment to invest €30billion ($35 billion) globally through 2025 in electrification and software.
“It’s an incredibly exciting day for the state of Indiana as we celebrate Stellantis’ major investment in its Kokomo operations,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Not only is Stellantis investing in the future of the auto industry, but the company is also in skilling up hundreds of Hoosiers to meet the demands of an evolving workforce. It’s because of businesses like Stellantis, action taken by industry leaders and the General Assembly to advance electrification strategies, Indiana is positioned to be a leader in the future of mobility.”
Stellantis’ investment will support the retooling of the Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting, and the Indiana Transmission plants to produce electrified, next-generation, eight-speed transmissions, which will have the flexibility to be paired with internal combustion engines as well as mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid propulsion systems for a number of Stellantis vehicles. The electrified transmission will also deliver improved fuel economy, provide pure-electric range and help vehicles meet future emission regulations.
“This investment and this transmission represent an important stepping stone in getting us to 2030 and further expanding our battery electric offerings,” said Head of Powertrain Operations for Stellantis, Brad Clark. “This new eight-speed is the ‘multi-tool’ of transmissions. It is a versatile transmission that can be adapted for a variety of applications, allowing us the flexibility to adjust our production as consumer demand for electrified vehicles grows over the next decade. It also offers consumers the opportunity to get familiar with this technology and explore all of the benefits that can come from electrification. As our industry continues to change, our focus must continue to be on our most valuable asset – our people. This transmission program will bring new opportunities for our current workforce, as well as the manufacturing workforce of the future.”
Stellantis employs nearly 88,000 people in North America, including more than 7,300 throughout its Indiana operations. A portion of the company’s investment will go toward retaining, retraining and transitioning 662 Kokomo employees into hybrid transmission manufacturing roles, which would be met with increased wages, subject to the 2019 UAW Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"I appreciate the confidence that Stellantis continues to show in the skills and abilities of our dedicated local workforce," said Mayor Tyler Moore. "As the automotive industry makes this shift towards alternatives like electric vehicles, our workers in Kokomo are well-prepared to take up the challenge to adapt, re-focus and excel in new technologies."
Today’s announcement was made in conjunction with Gov. Holcomb’s ceremonial signing of House Bill 1168, legislation that creates the Electric Vehicle (EV) Production Commission, designed to help ensure Indiana is advancing 21st Century automotive and mobility solutions. The commission will assess the state’s existing EV product facilities, identify opportunities for research and development, and evaluate opportunities and needs for training within Indiana’s EV industry.
The commission, which will consist of automobile and manufacturing industry leaders, labor unions, the Energy Systems Network and members of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Indiana General Assembly, will submit an annual report to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).
Based on the company’s plans to invest $225.6 million in its Indiana operations, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in Stellantis of up to $19.25 million in the form of conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program. The IEDC will also offer up to $300,000 in training grants. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim credits once investments are made and employees are trained. The city of Kokomo will consider additional incentives.
Today’s news comes a year and a half after the company announced plans to diversify its Kokomo manufacturing operations with a $400 million investment to expand and retool its Indiana Transmission Plant II for production of its new GMET4 engine.