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GM and Ford to collaborate on transmission development

By SYF77 on 14 Oct 2012

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Although GM and Ford are rivals in the automotive industry, these American car makers are collaborating to develop 9 to 10-speed automatic transmissions. This is not the first of their partnership though.

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In 2002, they cooperated to create a new automatic transaxle, designed for transverse engine applications in cars and light trucks.

According to reports, GM will be in charge of designing a 9-speed gearbox for front-wheel drive cars while Ford will take the lead in developing a 10-speed transmission for rear-wheel drive cars such as SUVs, performance vehicles and pick-ups.

Cars with a larger number of gear selections enable the engine to operate more efficiently, thus reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. GM and Ford are not alone in the quest for additional gear ratios. Hyundai is already working on a 10-speed automatic transmission that will be used on a range of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the future, particularly luxury models. It is scheduled to hit the showroom in 2014.

If the collaboration proves to be a success, GM and Ford, the world's second and fifth largest car maker respectively, will be able to enjoy great economy of scale due to the sheer volume of their annual output. According to IHS Automotive powertrain analyst, David Petrovski, GM and Ford benefit from reduced investment risk by working together.

By developing their own gearbox instead of purchasing them from manufacturers such as ZF and paying license fees, a car maker can reduce their cost of production.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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