Last week General Motors Corporation and the Ford Motor Company signed an agreement to jointly develop a new generation of nine-speed and ten-speed automatic transmissions to be used in cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks. These new transmissions are designed to improve vehicle performance and fuel economy on front wheel drive powered models. Bringing their expertise to the table together, the purpose of this agreement, of course, is to save on development without compromising quality.
"Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions." said Jim Lanson, GM’s Vice President of Global Transmission Engineering. " We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both company’s future product portfolios."
The nine-speed and ten-speed transmissions will save on fuel The more gears that a car has available, the less fuel it consumes because the engine does not need to work as hard. That said, the more gears, the more complex and expensive to produce.
This is not the first time that GM and Ford have collaborated on transmissions. In fact, it's the third time. They have already sold eight million six-speed front wheel drive gearboxes worldwide. Maybe one of them is under the hood of your vehicle, since Ford installs them in their Fusion, Edge, Escape and Explorer, while GM bolts them to the engines of their Malibu, Traverse, Equinox and Cruze models.
These past arrangements have served as models for the new agreement between the two rivals. Each company will manufacture it's own transmissions, with a number of components in common. While the basic structure will be shared, the software matching it to each individual vehicle or brand remains exclusive to each respective automaker. Neither company has announced when these new transmissions will hit the production stage, but design has already begun. The previous collaboration on the six-speed transmissions took about three years.
There are many advantages to companies working together, particularly the fact that these transmissions will go into production much sooner, while reducing costs for both parties. This is good for all consumers who may count on the cutting edge of transmission technology.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca
Original text by Christian Gagnon - (GM et Ford s'associent pour des transmissions automatiques)