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Fiat Chrysler to revive idled plant in Indiana

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV this week said it is relocating from Italy production of an engine for Jeep SUVs to an idled Indiana plant.

Fiat Chrysler North America COO Mark Stewart, right, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb with a Jeep Wrangler equipped with the 2.0-liter engine that will be built at the new Kokomo Engine Plant beginning in the second quarter of 2021.

The automaker is investing $400 million into Indiana Transmission Plant II in Kokomo to build for the U.S. market the GMET4 engine — a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo offered in the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee. Its production is an important element to Fiat Chrysler's five-year plan announced in 2018, said Mark Stewart, chief operating officer.

"A significant number of new technologies can be applied to this engine, making it relevant for the future," Stewart said in a statement. "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.”

Rendering of the lobby of FCA's future engine plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

The engine currently comes from Temoli, Italy. Production at the Indiana facility — which has been renamed Kokomo Engine Plant — is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year. The plant opened in 2003 and built transmissions until August 2018. It was idled in fall 2019.

The investment will create 200 new jobs and retain another 1,000, according to the automaker. That will bring total employment in Indiana to more than 8,300 people.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble