General Motors announced that it will invest $245 million at its powertrain plant in St. Catharines, Ontario to allow the facility to gear up for production of a new, highly-efficient six-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission is based on GM's current six-speed Hydro-Matic 6T40/45, but has been revised significantly to decrease parasitic losses and increase fuel efficiency of vehicles it resides in. According to GM, the investment at the Ontario facility will save or create 400 jobs.
The highly-efficient six-speed trans will slowly trickle down through GM models beginning in 2012. The first models scheduled to utilize the new transmission include the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Buick Regal. Additional models may receive the high-tech trans at a later point. GM hopes that this new six-speed tranny will help the company meet stringent fuel economy regulations set to swing into action in 2016.