6-speed transmission

Two of Detroit's "Big 3" automakers announced on Monday an agreement to jointly develop new 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions. General Motors and Ford Motor Company will collaborate on advanced transmissions that will be used on both front and rear-wheel drive vehicles across both automakers' lineups, including trucks and SUVs.
While these crosstown rivals typically enter the ring as competitors, this is not the first time the automakers have employed the tag-team method when developing transmissions. Ford and GM have collaborated on transmissions 3 times over the past decade, most recently working conjointly on the 6-speed automatic transmission shown above.

The new transmissions are expected to yield gains in both fuel economy and performance, as is typically the case with gearboxes that offer more ratios.

"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 for transmission, driveline component and 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."

GM's VP of Global Transmission Engineering Jim Lanzon added, "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."

The new 9- and 10-speed transmissions will help Ford and GM catch up on the competition, many of whom are already offering 8- or 9-speed automatic transmissions in their vehicles. GM recently announced an 8-speed transmission on their forthcoming 2014 Cadillac CTS.

You can read the full press release below.
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GM and Ford to Jointly Develop Advanced Automatic Transmissions
2013-04-15

DETROIT – 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 for cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks.

The new transmissions, to be built in both front- and rear-wheel drive variants, will improve 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."

A Track Record of Success

This new agreement marks the third time in the past decade that GM and Ford have collaborated on transmissions. These collaborative efforts have enabled both companies together to deliver more than 8 million durable, high-quality 6-speed front-wheel drive transmissions to customers around the globe.

Ford installs these 6-speed transmissions in some of America's favorite vehicles, such as the Ford Fusion family sedan, the Edge crossover and the Escape and Explorer SUVs, while GM installs them into a variety of high volume, award-winning products like the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Cruze.

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."

"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."

"This agreement provides tremendous benefits for both companies, and it will pay big dividends for our customers and shareholders," added Lanzon. "By jointly sharing the development of these two new families of transmissions, both GM and Ford will be able to more efficiently use our respective manpower resources to develop additional future advanced transmissions and bring them to market faster than if we worked alone."

Further technical details and vehicle applications for these transmissions will be released by each company at the appropriate time before launch.