CHICAGO Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. will jointly develop new-generation nine- and 10-speed automatic transmissions for cars, crossover vehicles, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks.
"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," said Craig Renneker, Fords chief engineer for transmission, driveline component and pre-program engineering. Each company will manufacture the transmissions in their own plants, using common components.
The transmissions will have both front- and rear-wheel-drive variants, GM said.
"Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions," Jim Lanzon, GMs vice president of global transmission engineering, said. "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 companies future product portfolios."
It is the third time in the past decade that Detroit-based GM and Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford have collaborated to develop transmissions. They previously teamed up to build six-speed front-wheel-drive transmissions, delivering more than 8 million transmissions worldwide. Ford installs the six-speed transmissions in its Fusion, Edge, Escape and Explorer models, while GM uses them in its Chevrolet Malibu, Traverse, Equinox and Cruze vehicles.
"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," Lanzon said.