Rival companies Ford and General Motors have signed an official agreement to co-develop a new generation of 9- and 10-speed Automatic Transmissions, to be used in their passenger cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks. The point of this partnership is to lower the cost of development for both parties.
Almost all car makers these days are working on 9- and 10-speed ‘boxes because they are an essential part of the fuel diet every new car has to go through. Ford and GM’s transmission is, by the looks of things, going to cater to a wide range of needs between the two companies. It will be built in both front- and rear-wheel drive variants, will improve vehicle performance and increase fuel economy.
This new agreement marks the third time in the past decade that GM and Ford have collaborated on transmissions. Their latest co-developed unit, the 6-speed front-wheel drive transmission, is used in a wide variety of vehicles including Ford Fusion family sedan, the Edge crossover and the Escape and Explorer SUVs, and Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Cruze.
“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.”