Antonov Automotive Technologies, the UK-based transmission technology specialist, will partner with Chongqing Loncin General Purpose Engine (Loncin) for the development, manufacturing and marketing of a small 6-speed automatic transmission in Chongqing, local government sources said today.
Sources from Chongqing Foreign Trade & Economic Relations Commission said that the two sides have decided to build a transmission production base with a total investment of 400 billion yuan ($58.57 billion). The date for the start of production was not disclosed.
Commenting on its joint venture with Loncin, Antonov’s chief executive John Moore said recently that the municipal government of Chongqing has been very supportive and has helped to expedite the construction of Antonov’s Chinese subsidiary, which is now completed.
Antonov signed an agreement with Loncin in September 2007 to work together to set up their manufacturing joint venture. The two companies were reported to start production for vehicles starting in mid-2010.
Antonov’s transmission system for the Chinese automotive market offers much quicker and easier integration and calibration than traditional transmissions. It will introduce Chinese carmakers to a home-grown six-speed gearbox offering high mechanical efficiency and world-class shift quality.
Antonov’s six-speed design also offers a low entry cost to the application of a full electronically-controlled six-speed gearbox. Six-speed automatic transmissions are much desired by Chinese consumers, but currently have to be imported by carmakers.