Daimler AG is one of a shrinking number of automakers that continues to build its own transmissions, but the parent of Mercedes-Benz is now looking to change that. The automaker has been holding talks with rival BMW about possible powertrain collaborations including transmissions. Mercedes already supplies the two-mode hybrid transmissions that BMW is installing in its forthcoming ActiveHybrid X6. However, a proposal to build a joint factory to produce automatic transmissions in the U.S. for the vehicles being built by both companies here has reportedly been scuttled.
Automotive News also reports that a second proposal to shift Daimler's European transmission operations to a new joint venture with BMW and ZF has also been abandoned. The two automakers had been discussing a jointly developed eight-speed automatic transmission but could not agree on technical details.
Mercedes is still looking for ways to offload its transmission operations, saying that it is not core to its business. This will be increasingly true if more of its vehicles switch to electrified powertrains where single speed reduction gears are all that is required. The two companies are still discussing collaborations on engines, however, including a new three-cylinder unit.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]