Despite beliefs by transmission manufacturer ZF’s president that the race to add transmission gears is close to the limit, General Motors and Ford are teaming up to jointly develop new nine-speed and 10-speed transmissions.
The partnership between two of America’s largest automakers aims to build transmissions to use across their lineups in hopes of maximizing fuel economy. GM is in charge of developing a nine-speed transmission for front-wheel drive applications while Ford is focusing on a 10-speed transmission for rear-wheel drive vehicles such as pickup trucks, SUVs, and performance cars.
Development began earlier this year, but is still currently in the design phase. The automakers are hoping to begin production before 2015 however. Details on the agreement were not announced, but a GM spokesman did confirm that the automakers are in discussions and have signed a memorandum of understanding on the project. A definitive agreement is expected to be announced soon.
It’ll be even more interesting to see if this relationship blossoms to something greater. A manufacturing alliance wouldn’t be entirely out of the question, and could help boost both automakers’ production and development.
[Source: Automotive News]