With over 40 years under his belt in the automotive industry, Tyree Minner is no stranger to manufacturing, but he’s new to Kokomo.
The Kokomo Transmission Plant manager moved to the City of Firsts last October from Detroit, where he worked at the city’s Jefferson North assembly plant. Though he spent a lot of his career with General Motors, he has been with Stellantis for 15 years. And KTP, the area’s largest Stellantis plant with over 4,100 production machines in the facility, is his latest assignment.
“The culture here in Kokomo is one that anybody would be awfully proud of,” Minner said. “It’s quite different and unique, and what I mean by unique is that there are no fences. In other words, it’s a welcoming type of culture that doesn’t prevent anyone from coming in or leaving. It’s one that someone can draw themselves to because it’s like a family. And being part of a family, you welcome new members in in a different kind of way.”
Though Minner joined KTP late last year, it didn’t take long for him and others to start making an impact in the community. Minner and others at KTP worked to provide Christmas gifts and meals to families, continuing an annual tradition at the plant.
COVID-19 had some worried that the plant wouldn’t be able to assist the same number of families as were served last year at 100, but Minner said the concern didn’t last for long. KTP well exceeded the prior year’s total and provided 147 families with gifts and meals for the holiday season.
Minner joined the plant at an opportune time. When he stepped in, the plant was in the process of discontinuing production of the four-speed transmission, which had been a pillar product for the plant for 32 years after launching in 1988.
Now, the plant is focusing on ramping up production for the eight- and nine-speed transmissions.
KTP also recently had been celebrated for its safety and environmental processes. Last December, Wildlife Habitat Council recognized KTP for its use of corporate land to conserve or restore habitats.
Looking to the future, Minner was excited about the work that the new GMET4 engine, which will be built at Kokomo’s new engine plant, will bring. The engine is currently an option in the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee.
“This new technology will allow us to provide about 300 microns of oil-fill around the bore of the engine block, and this is for our high-performance GMET engines,” Minner said. “So we’re looking forward to that here shortly.”
KTP employs the most workers of any of the Stellantis plants in the area, comprising 3,521 of the 7,310 employees.