Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobile chief has gone on record saying that the company is committing to their industry-changing 9-speed transmission, despite setbacks last year caused by it.
The automotive giant was forced to delay it's 2014 Jeep Cherokee by two months late last year while their engineers worked to rectify a software flaw in it's 9-speed automatic transmission. The company had a lot riding on the success of the SUV and needed to ensure that it's shiny new 9-speed, an industry first, did not disappoint. Marchionne said that the new transmission will continue to be used through Chrysler's line-up of FWD models.
This transmission is also installed in the company's Chrysler 200 sedan. While the Jeep Cherokee does not use it's fuel efficient ninth gear all the time, the 200 does use it during normal operations. The operating software for it in the 200 is being refined, and the car is on track to arrive on time in showrooms, during the second quarter of this year.
The 9-speed is also slated for the upcoming Jeep Renegade. More information about the company's plans will be available in May when the company reveals a new 5-year product and business plan. Marchionne said that they will continue to use the new transmission throughout the entire range of FWD SUVs, cars, crossovers and minivans, as each model is re-engineered or redesigned. Most vehicles have about a 7-year cycle between major upgrades and redesign.
Chrysler's ground breaking technology is actually licensed from ZF Friedrichshafen, and the transmissions are built in Indiana.
Marchionne commented on how the technology continues to evolve: "The nine-speed is the shortest, most complex transmission you can buy in the marketplace," he told reporters in March. "It has a number of wonderful attributes; one of the things that is not a wonderful attribute is the fact that it's new. All things that are new go through an evolution stage that makes them better over time."
"The commitment continues to bring about improvements in the nine-speed and to recognize we keep on getting better at this," Marchionne said. "Some technical changes were already made, and we'll continue to make more. It is still the most viable solution moving forward."
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca