Ford and General Motors collaborate to develop advanced automatic gearboxes

author image CarTrade Editorial Team
Wednesday 17 April 2013, 10:05 AM

The two American automobile majors, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have joined hands to develop highly advanced next generation nine and ten speed automatic transmission technologies. As per sources, the two rival companies would use the jointly designed gearboxes on their passenger cars, crossovers, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) and trucks.

Further, the new transmission systems are to be built for both rear and front wheel driven models, and are pegged to enhance performance and mileage characteristics of the cars they would be used in. This announced partnership would bring top automobile engineering minds from both Ford and General Motors, for design, development, testing and implementation of the new technology in the their vehicles. Evidently, this alliance could help the two auto makers in achieving cost cutting on the overall design to development to implementation phase of the technology, had they been working separately on similar projects.

Speaking on the same, Jim Lanzon, Vice President (VP), Global Transmission Engineering, General Motors Company, was quoted as saying, “Engineering teams from GM (General Motors) and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” adding, “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.”

Lanzon further added, “This agreement provides tremendous benefits for both companies, and it will pay big dividends for our customers and shareholders. By jointly sharing the development of these two new families of transmissions, both GM and Ford will be able to more efficiently use our respective manpower resources to develop additional future advanced transmissions and bring them to market faster than if we worked alone.”

The new partnership marks the third time when Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have joined hands in the past decade, in order to develop new transmission systems. Such agreements have helped the two auto majors in delivering over 8 million top-of-the-line six speed front wheel drive transmission systems to their clientele spread across the globe.

On the tie-up with General Motors, Craig Renneker, Chief Engineer, Transmission, Driveline Component & Pre-Program Engineering at Ford Motor Company, was quoted as saying, “The goal is to keep hardware identical in the Ford and GM transmissions. This will maximize parts commonality and give both companies economy of scale.” Renneker further said, “However, we will each use our own control software to ensure that each transmission is carefully matched to the individual brand-specific vehicle DNA for each company.”

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