Chrysler and its joint-venture partner Getrag have built a $530 million gearbox plant in Indiana to build up to 700,000 dual-clutch transmissions per annum starting in 2009. Chrysler will be paying the 1,070 workers at the new plant, which will mean that it will have exclusive rights for every gearbox that comes off the production line.

Getrag is the owner of the dual-clutch technology, a design that not only improves acceleration but also saves fuel. The first Chrysler cars equipped with the new box should appear by 2010 reports Automotive News, and will be powered by the carmaker’s new Phoenix V6 engine. The gearbox could also replace the current CVT boxes used by some Chrysler models because of a price advantage.

The new dual-clutch gearbox will have six speeds, with a separate clutch to engage gears one, three and five, and another to link gears two, four and six. This design ensures that there's no power interruption during acceleration, which promises fuel savings of about 6% over conventional transmissions.