Back in October, there were reports that General Motors and Ford Motor Company were hard at work co-developing new nine- and ten-speed automatic transmissions, and now both automakers have confirmed this joint operation. While there are no specific vehicles mentioned to receive either transmission, a collaborative press release issued by GM and Ford mention that the transmission will be designed for front- and rear-wheel-drive cars, crossovers, trucks and SUVs.

These aren't the first powertrain components developed jointly between these cross-town rivals, either. The six-speed automatic currently used in vehicles like the Ford Edge, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Equinox was engineered in a similar fashion. As is the case with this existing transmission, both automakers will assist in the design, development and testing of the new transmissions, but each will build its own units in its own factories. Scroll down for the official press release.
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Ford and GM to Jointly Develop Advanced Nine- and 10-Speed Automatic Transmissions

- New project to build on success of previous collaborations

- Initial design and engineering work is already under way

- New transmissions will improve fuel economy and enhance performance


DEARBORN, Mich., April 15, 2013 – Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation have signed an agreement under which both companies will jointly develop an all-new generation of advanced-technology nine- 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 six-speed front-wheel-drive transmissions to customers around the globe.

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

That original collaboration 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 for transmission and 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."

"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 front-wheel-drive transmissions have 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.


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  • 51 Comments
      funguy6713
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well semi-trucks can have up to 18-Speed transmissions...so cars/crossovers/SUVs have a long way to go....
      john m
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder when these transmissions will be ready for production? Three years from now? Just a guess if they started work already?
      ddirkdiggler302
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cant wait until chrysler comes out with there nine speed! its going to kick butt!
        TruthHertz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ddirkdiggler302
        Chrysler hasn't and doesn't come out with crap. The 545RFE is the last tranny they designed and even it had huge flaws. The 68RFE is made by Japanese Aisin. Their 6 speed auto slush boxes are made by Hyundai and the dual clutch trannys are outsourced as well. I guess you can't wait for Chrysler to BUY A NINE SPEED automatic because they are far to worthless and untrustworthy to come out with a fresh slate design that isn't complete garbage based on their past track record.
      conslaw
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nissan and Honda are delivering as good or better performance and fuel economy with their CVTs than GM is with its mild-hybrid and Ford is with its touted "ecoboost" and 6-speed.
      k.naz
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm all up for new inventions and innovations when it comes to the automobile industry, but before the two of them do this, doesn't anyone else feel like they should improve their current transmissions?
        Mario
        • 1 Year Ago
        @k.naz
        I agree with you 100%. GM and Ford already can't even build a transmission that will actually last. Every Ford that my family has owned has had transmission problems, even with proper maintenance. GM, from personal experience, is a little bit better, but not much. As you said, they should improve upon the junk that they put in their current cars as opposed to making new transmissions with even more internal parts, which in turn, increases the chance of them failing.
        Fixitfixitstop
        • 1 Year Ago
        @k.naz
        The current 6-speeds are far better than their previous 4-speeds, and this is an improvement.
        k.naz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @k.naz
        To be fair, I still like the transmission in the tahoe. It's rugged and very durable and suits a vehicle like that.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      why would get a 9 speed transmission when a CVT has infinite gear ratio.... 9 is already too much.
        john m
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        CVT's can't handle high torque. I think the highest power engine that you see them in is Nissans 3.5l v6. Also they're not too popular. Personally, I like them but others don't seem to be too crazy about them.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @john m
          [blocked]
        v6sonoma
        • 1 Year Ago
        @over9000
        I've never been a fan of CVT's. I prefer manuals but let's face it, I'm in the minority on that one these days. =( I think a lot has to do with perceived quickness. A CVT just doesn't feel all that snappy.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @v6sonoma
          And by Pathfinder, I meant Highlander.
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @v6sonoma
          Don't blame the CVT...Nissan really did the technology a lot of damage by selling really crappy ones paired with crappy engines. There's no scientific reason CVTs can't have the same 'snappiness' [actually, they would have a more prolonged 'snap'] than automatics or manuals -- they just haven't been developed for performance models. Sure, it is more difficult to make them for high power engines, but it's not really fair to judge the technology based on the mainstream examples released thus far.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @v6sonoma
          I don't think any automatic transmission feel that snappy, especially from a stand still. Maybe it's my limited experience with them, Toyota seems like the worst. When I borrow my neighbors Pathfinder, it feels like there is a two second of delay between hitting the gas and the car actually start moving.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @v6sonoma
          [blocked]
      akitadog
      • 1 Year Ago
      9 and 10-speed transmissions? Why not just put all your money into the 10-speed tranny and make it an awesome more-robust product? Anyway, with these many ratios, you might as well throw your money into a CVT.
        MTU 5.0
        • 1 Year Ago
        @akitadog
        Different applications. 9 speed is for FWD, 10 speed is for RWD.
        akitadog
        • 1 Year Ago
        @akitadog
        Lol! All those downvotes on my comment are hilarious. What, is "CVT" a dirty word?
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chrysler pushing everyone else to innovate, who would have thought it 4 years ago?
      canuckcharlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL at all the trolls who think they know better than the auto manufacturers
      Rob W Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      @Max You're talking about Chrysler's new 9 speed auto, right? Well, that transmission wasn't actually designed by Chrysler, it was designed by the ZF Group, a private German transmission engineering group. Also, the transmission will show up in a Land Rover before it does the Grand Cherokee. The 9 speed looks to be really impressive, but I wouldn't exactly credit Chrysler for it... other than partially funding it anyway...
        jlauth
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob W Levine
        Chrylser put the $$$ down for the investment and hours of testing time and mule cars, so I would consider them a main inovator of this transmission. They are also the inovators of the manufacturing process, as Chrysler is already building these 9 speeds. Land Rover will be buying the transmission from ZF, Chrysler will be me machining and building theirs at their plants. Testing that Chrysler has done to make this transmission funciton in mass production aided ZF in the robustness of their transmission.
        rc_car_nut
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob W Levine
        Rob, The 8 Speed is for rear wheel drive based and 4x4 applications like the Charger, Grand Cherokee, Ram. The 9 Speed will be for Front Wheel based applications and 4x4 such as the new Cherokee(Replacement for the Liberty) and other front wheel vehicles. Check out the link for more info. ZF designed the transmissions and Chrysler will be building them in-house. http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/ZF8.html http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/ZF9.html Lots of good info here about the Chrysler product. Glad to see GM and Ford designing one for their vehicles. I personally just purchase a 2014 Grand Cherokee Hemi with the 8 speed. Definitely smooth and extremely responsive. Only had it a couple weeks and mixed driving getting ~19MPG mixed with a 5200# SUV. My previous 2006 GC 4.7 auto averaged around 15 and didn't have near the performance this new GC has. The Jeep GC has come light years ahead of what my 2006 was.
      drewbiewhan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Isn't there a tipping point where the number of gears eventually stops improving efficiency because of the added weight?
      joel oliver
      • 1 Year Ago
      Finally, real world transmissions will match the number of times you hear the cars shift in Fast and Furious movies. I thought CVTs were the future? What happened with those?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @joel oliver
        [blocked]
          merlot066
          • 1 Year Ago
          Like Toyota and their 35 MPG 4-speed Corolla? Compacts are getting 38-40 MPG now.
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