Chrysler Dual-Clutch program in doubt

Not a week after we brought you news of Chrysler's intentions to expand the use of Getrag sourced dual-clutch transmission, comes an announcement today that Chrysler has successfully sued German manufacturer Getrag in a Michigan court for failing to raise the $300 million in debt financing needed to build and equip a plant in Tipton, Indiana to produce the transmissions.
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The plant, which was expected to have been opened in April 2009, was to be the sole source of Chrysler's dual-clutch transmissions in the United States and now jeopardises the entire dual-clutch program, said Crysler spokesman David Elshoff.

Elshoff also said that although construction work was continuing on the plant today, he could not speculate as to whether any further work would continue in to the future.

Under the partnership, Chrysler would have seen 700,000 transmissions build in the Indiana plant annually with some 1,200 staff employed at the $350 million dollar factory.

The lawsuit indicated that Getrag had sought to secure the money required to build the plant from German banks on the proviso that the money was guaranteed by the German government. Chrysler argues that it should have been informed of that condition before it signed off on the definitive agreement.

As it turned out the German government would only guarantee the debt if Chrysler set up a $300 million escrow account to assure repayment. It is alleged Chrysler was awarded favour as Getrag "did not make a good faith effort to get the money".

There is no word on how this will effect supply of the transmission in Australian Chrysler Group vehicles at this stage. We'll endeavour to keep you posted.