Crothersville Clerk-Treasurer Michele Teipen and Town Councilman Derrick Minton listen as ADI tour leader Brad Hale explains some of the manufacturing processes used in making automatic transmissions for the Heavy Duty Dodge Ram Pick-Up Truck. The Crothersville manufacturer began shipping transmissions for the 2013 truck on Friday. A celebratory ceremony, tour of facilities and lunch was held.
The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck will have a powertrain made primarily in southern Indiana. Chrysler’s Ram trucks could be ordered with a Columbus manufactured Cummins diesel engine for several years, but with the 2013 model year, 6-speed automatic transmissions for those trucks will be manufactured by Aisin Drivetrain in Crothersville.
ADI held a First Shipment ceremony Friday for their new line of transmissions bound for Chrysler.
A little over a year ago ADI announced an expansion to their business which resulted in a $15.3 million investment in manufacturing equipment at the Crothersville plant. At the time the Chrysler transmission project would mean an addition 40 jobs at the plant. However, with Friday’s ceremony, it was announced that by the end of 2013 the heavy duty transmission business would bring another 70 additional jobs to the local plant, bringing total employment to 265, according to Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation.
Aisin company representatives, Chrysler Corporation executives along with local economic development officials were on hand for the company first shipment ceremony.
This is not the first time an Aisin transmission will be found powering an American vehicle. In the early 1980’s, Jeep (then manufactured by American Motors) used Aisin transmission imported from Japan in some of their 4-wheel drive vehicles, according to Aisin Seiki vice president & regional director Shunichi Nakamura.
“The 2013 Ram HD will be the first Aisin manufactured transmission which is made in America,” he said.
“I think we made the right decision on using a heavy duty transmission manufactured here at Aisin Drivetrain,” said Dr. Mircea Gradu, vice president of transmission and driveline development for Chrysler Corporation in Detroit. “We are excited about the transmission technology in the Aisin transmission. We look forward to collaborating with you in the future.”
Aisin Drivetrain, the first manufacturing plant to locate in the Crothersville Industrial Park south of town, made its first forklift transmission shipment in June 1996. The company produces industrial power train components, transmission and steering components for the automotive industry.
“We applaud Crothersville for the foresight to build this industrial park,” said ADI President Scott Turpin. He explained the transmission production line’s motto “Let’s go zero” meaning zero problems or errors all along the entire production process to the customer.
He said that ADI’s contract with Chrysler calls for shipping 151 transmissions each day.
In 1995 Aisin World Corp of America announced it would build a 90,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Crothersville. In May 1998 a 260,000 square foot expansion was completed. According to JCIDC website, ADI employs 155 workers.
“Aisin is one of Indiana’s best corporate citizens,” said Jim plump of JCIDC. “We are proud to have you here in Crothersville and Jackson County.”