CROTHERSVILLE, IN – Aisin Drivetrain, Inc. (ADI), a business unit of Aisin Seiki, announced that it has begun shipping new six-speed automatic transmissions manufactured for light and medium-duty commercial Ram trucks. The new six-speed transmission is designed for Class 3, 4 and 5 diesel trucks, according to ADI President Scott Turpin.

A celebration at ADI, one of several Aisin manufacturing plants located about 75 miles south of Indianapolis, was attended by Chrysler executives Dr. Mircea Gradu , vice president, Powertrain; Ed Perosky , director, Engineering; and Mark Champine , platform director, Transmission & Driveline Powertrain. Other attendees included local dignitaries, and Aisin employees and executives, including Aisin Seiki Chairman, Kanshiro Toyoda , visiting from Japan.

The new Chrysler program has meant a $15-million investment in equipment and upgrades at the 350,000 square-foot plant, and more than 100 new jobs, according to the company.

Turpin said the Aisin-Chrysler business relationship began about 30 years ago when Aisin Group supplied 5-speed transmissions for the Jeep Cherokee.

"We're excited to add this new six-speed automatic transmission to our product group here at ADI," Turpin said. "We've been running full throttle in preparation for this new business, and many of our team members have logged thousands of miles and countless hours traveling to Japan for training on our new equipment. I am grateful for the efforts of the entire ADI team, and for the trust and confidence Chrysler has in Aisin."

With ADI's business expansion, Aisin operations in North America will grow to nearly 5,000 full time employees, with annual sales of $2 billion, according to the company.