Chrysler Group LLC has started using 3-D modeling in its powertrain plants in North America to help reduce engineering costs, officials said. The automaker is using the modeling to help in its launch of eight- and nine-speed transmissions it will build at its Kokomo, Ind., plant, The Detroit News reported Sunday. The modeling helps reduce expected engineering costs in the $1.3 billion launch of the transmissions from 4 percent of total costs to 3 percent, Brian Harlow, Chrysler\'s vice president and leader of powertrain operations in North America and global powertrain manufacturing engineering. \"This thing is really in its infancy,\" he said. \"The power behind it is really phenomenal.\" Harlow said 3-D technology is helping the automaker to launch the new transmissions quickly with fewer launch problems, the News reported. \"We knew we needed a new way of working in order to get our plants in Kokomo ready at an accelerated pace,\" Harlow said in a statement. \"By using 3-D technology, we are in effect injecting principles of World Class Manufacturing from the very beginning of our planning for production start-ups such as the ones in Kokomo.\" The Times said Chrysler\'s World Class Manufacturing plan strives for continuous improvement, with no-waste and zero-accident goals.