KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) â¿¿ Chrysler is investing millions in the Kokomo, Ind., area as it shifts most of its vehicles to new transmissions that save fuel and better suit the driving habits of Americans.

The automaker will invest nearly $400 million at four plants, adding 1,250 jobs to what it says it the largest transmission factory complex in the world. The plants will make fuel-efficient eight- and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

Chrysler plans to use the new nine-speed transmission in key front-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Dodge Dart compact, which has lagged sales expectations. The transmission also will go into a new Chrysler 200 midsize sedan early next year and the Jeep Cherokee midsize SUV, which will replace the aging Jeep Liberty in the summer.

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By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 20.88 points, or 0.2 percent, at 14,054.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 index ended down 1.3 points, or 0.1 percent, at 1,514.68. The Nasdaq composite lost two points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 3,160.19.

Benchmark crude for April delivery fell 71 cents to finish at $92.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell 49 cents to end at $111.38 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange In London.

Wholesale gasoline rose half a cent to finish at $3.11 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2 cents to end at $2.96 a gallon. Natural gas rose 5 cents to finish at $3.48 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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