GM and Ford announced they will jointly develop nine- and 10-speed automatic transmissions for fuel efficiency.
GM, which is the largest US maker, will develop the nine-speed gearbox for front-wheel drive vehicles, while Ford, the second biggest US automaker, will lead the design of the 10-speed transmission for rear-wheel drive vehicles, including SUVs, performance cars and pick-ups.
According to the US government, by 2025 all automakers have to show a corporate average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon, which means 39 mpg in real world driving, 70% more compared with 22.8 mpg for the 2011 model year vehicles. Therefore companies have already started coming up with plans to make their cars more fuel efficient.
Over the past years, multi-speed transmissions have been used by several leading automakers such as BMW, Audi, Lexus and Chrysler with their 8-speed transmissions, which offer better refinement and reduce fuel consumption.
Although GM and Ford couldn’t be reached for comment, a GM spokesman said that the two automakers have already signed a memorandum of understanding “to jointly develop a variety of all-new, fuel-efficient transmissions” and a Ford spokesman said that “We always talk to other companies including GM.”