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Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have signed an agreement under which both companies will jointly develop an all-new generation of advanced technology 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions.
These new transmissions will be used in cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks.
This news follows the recent launch of the ZF nine-speed transmission in the Land Rover Evoque.
The new joint Ford/GM transmissions, to be built in both front- and rear-wheel drive variants, are expected to contribute to improving vehicle performance and increase fuel economy.
The collaboration enables both automakers to design, develop, engineer, test, validate and deliver these new transmissions for their vehicles faster and at lower cost than if each company worked independently.
“Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM 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 companies’ future product portfolios.”
This is the third time in the past decade that GM and Ford have collaborated on transmissions.
These efforts have enabled both companies together to deliver more than 8 million 6-speed front-wheel drive transmissions (GM version pictured).
Ford installs these 6-speed transmissions in vehicles, such as the Ford Fusion family sedan, the Edge crossover and the Escape and Explorer SUVs, while GM installs them into products like the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Cruze.
Both companies said these original collaborations served as a template for the new one. As before, each company will manufacture its own transmissions in its own plants with many common components.
“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, Ford’s Chief Engineer, Transmission & Driveline Component & Pre-Program Engineering. “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.”
Further technical details and vehicle applications for these transmissions will be released by each company at the appropriate time before launch.
“With the jointly developed six-speed automatics we have in production today, we’ve already proven that Ford and GM transmission engineers work extremely well together,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of Powertrain engineering. “Our 6F family of transmissions has exceeded expectations and there is every reason to believe we will have the same success with these all new transmissions.”