New jobs coming on line at Toledo Transmission - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

New jobs coming on line at Toledo Transmission

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New production lines are up and running at GM's Toledo Transmission plant and it means new jobs. As we've reported, the new Toledo built, 8 speed transmission is going into the 2015 Corvette. Bob Widmer is the 8 speed Launch Manager, "Toledo has a long history of making high quality transmissions and making a lot of them. I am very proud of the product we are building in Toledo and the workforce."

 With the official launch just weeks away, the new 8 speed lines are gradually ramping up, "We started by building about 24 a day, so we were building them in very small batches. We learned a lot and we fixed a few things and then we started building 48 a day. We've learned a lot more and become even more efficient."

July 7th is the official start date of regular production but that doesn't mean full production, "Even after July 7th we will still be ramping up. We will not be in full production for a couple months. We've brought on some of the new people and as the ramp up continues we will continue to add people until we are just north of 100 new hires."

They build more than 25,000, 6 speed transmissions here in Toledo every week. The big difference between the 6 and the 8 speed is fuel economy. The 8 speed will save you 5%-7% at the gas pump. In addition to the better gas mileage, Widmer says the extra two speeds get you a few other things,"Shift performance is one, it will feel different when its shifting and this is the fastest shifting box gm has ever made."

Even though they are different products, the 6 and 8 speed lines will run together for part of the production process, "The two lines start in the same place. They have some shared equipment and then there is some equipment specific to each line, and then they end in the same place." 

Right now the 8 speed is only being made for the new Corvette but that could change, "Is there a possibility the 8 speed could be used in other models? Yes, but it is too early to talk about product proliferation. But you do believe it could go into other models? Absolutely." 

Of course the new line also means another big investment in the Toledo plant. Gm spent about 30 million on the 8 speed line. GM has pumped more than one billion into the Toledo plant in just the last five years.

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