General Motors and Ford decided to collaboratively develop new 9 and 10-speed automatic transmissions. This might be able to reduce their research and development costs by hundreds of millions of dollars due to economies of scale.
The 9-speed gearbox (transmission), which is designed for use worldwide will be used in front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicles, and the 10-speed will be installed in rear-wheel-drive vehicles. This will help both Ford and GM catch up to other automakers, like Chrysler, which has already rolled out an 8-speed transmission of its own, and is rolling out a 9-speed automatic as well.
Despite the fact that they compete with each other, they have co-developed transmissions on several occasions in the past. This includes the six-speed automatic used in the Ford Fusion and Chevy Cruze sedans. Still, having two of Detroit’s largest automakers team up underlines the importance of this project.
“Customers don’t care where transmissions come from so there’s no disadvantage to sharing [the technology],” said IHS analyst David Petrovksi in an interview with The Detroit News. Fair enough, but is this alliance a sign of future cooperation between the brands?
Source: The Detroit News