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With General Motors' U.S. sales through the first four months of 2011 up 24.8 percent over 2010 and the automaker reporting its fifth-consecutive profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in July 2009, The General has decided that investing in its facilities is necessary.

2011 Chrysler 300 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler is getting serious about its eight-speed transmission plans as evidenced by a new report by TheDetroitBureau.com saying that Auburn Hills plans to pull ahead its production schedule. It takes money to make things things like this happen, and Chrysler has announced it is investing $85 million into its Kokomo Transmission Plant in Indiana. That $85M will get added to a rather large pile of cash because Chrysler has already announced an investment amount of $843 million for its various Kok

For the 2011 model year, many of Audi's B8 platform vehicles with all-wheel-drive will join the Q7 in getting a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The quattro-equipped A4 sedan, A5 coupe and Q5 crossover with the 2.0-liter TFSI inline-four will all swap a six-speed for the new transmission. The front-wheel-drive and V6-engined Audis will retain the continuously variable transmissions or six-speed automatics they currently use. The ZF transmission will allow a wider total ratio spread for lo

Hyundai is making a serious run at such stalwart luxury marques as Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW with the Genesis sedan. The Korean automaker is already competing directly with those established players using its current range of engines and transmissions, with the 4.6-liter V8 being mated to the same 6-speed ZF automatic tranny that sees duty in various Bimmers and Jaguars. Sometime around 2010, Hyundai will have a new 8-speed automatic ready for public consumption that being developing in-house

As the need for fuel efficiency and the desire for power continue on unabated, automakers are looking for more ways to increase the performance of their powertrains. Many times, we focus in on the engine as it holds the most promise for huge efficiency gains. There's more to eking out the best mileage possible, though, including making transmission adjustments. Mercedes-Benz has moved forward with seven gear ratios and Lexus has upped the ante with an eight-speed unit. BMW looks ready to follow