GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,621 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
do most companies design and build their own engines? i know many (most?) vehicle components are built by dedicated suppliers, but i'm not sure about engines. i think most automotive manufacturers keep that well under their umbrella.

i know navistar builds an engine for ford (or did that never get off the ground? not sure). and i believe yamaha built the V8 for the last taurus sho. are there many other examples of this sorta thing? any thoughts on the benefits or problems in outsourcing complete engines?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
There's getting to be more engine sharing out there as costs to develop them go up, but so far, it's not the norm. Navistar does in fact provide the PowerStroke V8 diesels to Ford. The V6 version is the one that got axed and will probably be provided by Cummins in the future. Of course, Cummins also supplies diesels to Dodge. The gentleman from Latin America with the crew cab S10 that posted a week or two ago had a diesel built by an independent engine maker with the engine name SPRINT.

Since the engine can be such a critical differentiater in vehicles, and because the costs are so high, it's hard for outside suppliers to just jump into the business. But established companies have sold their engines for a while. Jeeps in the late 60's/early 70's used Buick engines (225 V6 and 350 V8). Lincoln offered a BMW turbo-diesel in the Mark in the mid 80's, I believe (although not 100% sure) that the 2.6 4-cylinder in Mazda pickups of the late 80's were Mitsubishis.

And of course, there's the Honda V6 in Vues, and the other side of that deal, Isuzu diesels in Hondas (or were they Fiat diesels?).

There's speculation that there will be more of this as time goes on. Transmissions will probably go first. The GM-Ford collaboration on the 6-spd automatic is an example. BMW has used Hydramatic 5-speeds for years. Jeep used to use GM transmissions in the 70's, switched to Chrysler's in 1980. GM uses Aisin automatics in several vehicles, and manuals have regularly come from outside sources.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
Smaller car companies have always used engines supplied from outside vendors. Companies like Continental and Lycoming provided power for many American brands in the 1920s and 1930s, even stretching into the 1950s. As was said, GM (and Ford and Chrysler) has supplied engines to many companies through the years.

Diesel engines have had even fewer suppliers in history. For cars, VM Motori, Isuzu, PSA, and Volkswagen have provided oil-burners for many brands. GM used Isuzu diesels in US-marketed cars and Ford used Mazda and the aforementioned BMW 2.4L diesels. AMC used Renault diesels in Jeeps in the US in the 1980s.

Chrysler's early Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon used a VW-based engine and, in later years, the cars used a 1.6L engine sourced from Peugeot.

Some of the best engine supplying stories include the 90-degree Buick V6 (where production moved from GM to Kaiser-Jeep/AMC to GM), the Buick aluminum V8 (which was produced by GM, British Leyland-Rover, BMW, and Ford), the Bricklin (which used the AMC 360 in 1974 and the Ford 351 in 1975 and 1976), and the Ford 289 V8 (supplied to Rootes for the Sunbeam Tiger and then to Chrysler when they bought Rootes).

Transmission swapping is even more common. There are probably fewer transmission makers in the world than engine makers. Companies like Getrag, Aisin, ZF, and JATCO have risen to the top in recent years. GM, a traditional transmission supplier, has provided gearboxes to companies as diverse as (mentioned above) Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, BMW, Isuzu, Volvo, and even Ford.

Melvin:

Mazda had its own 2.6L four.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,621 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ah, thanks guys. i didn't figure there'd been so many examples. i wonder if engine development will remain largely with the manufacturers, or if companies like navistar and cummins will grow and expand. i can see the rationale behind sourcing engines from another established automotive manufacturer, but like you pointed out melvin, the costs are significant for an outside supplier to fully develop engines for various customers.

still, it's rarely a bad move to create a market that doesn't exist (or at least expand a very small one), and if it makes sense for the car manufacturers to outsource all other components, perhaps it'll eventually be commonplace for them to do the same with engines. i don't know if the allure and mystique of an engine means as much as it used to, and while the vette simply can't have a japanese derived powerplant, i don't think the chinese V6 in the equinox gets much flack outside of GMi. same with the VUE transmission.

i kinda envision a "plug and play" manufacturer, who builds engines and transmissions for whoever will buy them. you know, offering a whole range of transmissions for each engine, so that the manufacturer can pick and choose and design a vehicle around a family of engines and transmissions, so that future upgrades are simplified. and yet i know knothing about business, so perhaps this absolutely doesn't make sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
Originally posted by paul8488@Jun 23 2004, 09:24 PM
ah, thanks guys. i didn't figure there'd been so many examples. i wonder if engine development will remain largely with the manufacturers, or if companies like navistar and cummins will grow and expand. i can see the rationale behind sourcing engines from another established automotive manufacturer, but like you pointed out melvin, the costs are significant for an outside supplier to fully develop engines for various customers.

still, it's rarely a bad move to create a market that doesn't exist (or at least expand a very small one), and if it makes sense for the car manufacturers to outsource all other components, perhaps it'll eventually be commonplace for them to do the same with engines. i don't know if the allure and mystique of an engine means as much as it used to, and while the vette simply can't have a japanese derived powerplant, i don't think the chinese V6 in the equinox gets much flack outside of GMi. same with the VUE transmission.

i kinda envision a "plug and play" manufacturer, who builds engines and transmissions for whoever will buy them. you know, offering a whole range of transmissions for each engine, so that the manufacturer can pick and choose and design a vehicle around a family of engines and transmissions, so that future upgrades are simplified. and yet i know knothing about business, so perhaps this absolutely doesn't make sense.
Boats are a perfect example of what you are talking about. There are dozens (maybe 100's?) of boat makers in the US because boats are pretty simple things: fiberglass shells, upholstery, a few gauges - not much more than that, and relatively cheap capital-wise to do.

But the engines and drives, that's where the money is. There are only a half dozen or so stern-drive and outboard manufacturers, and they supply all the boat makers. Mercury Marine and Volvo-Penta are the main stern drive makers.

But even they don't make the engines in their stern drives. They primarily buy their engines from GM these days. Ford used to supply some V8's but I've never seen any of their modular V8's in marine service.

Maybe that's some of what we'll see for the auto industry. Occasionally, a boat maker will offer both Mercury and V-P drives, but ususally they do just one or the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
IMO transmission sharing will become more common throughout the industry, but not engine sharing.

The engine is such a huge aspect of marketing. Each company is going to want to develop their own unique engines to give themselves an edge. Chrysler is making big bucks off the Hemi.

OTOH, nobody markets their transmissions.

As GM standardizes on fewer platforms and selects the engines that fit those platforms, GM will be able to cut down the number of engines it produces so it can achieve better scale.

IMO, GM's engines will end up cutting down to the following engines:

1. Ecotec I4s of various displacements.
2. 3.5L and 3.9L OHV v6 for FWD cars, FWD unibody SUVs and minivans
3. DOHC HFv6 of various displacements for premium cars and SUVs
4. I6 for larger RWD SUVs and trucks, I5 and I4 for small trucks based off the 4.2L I6
5. LS based OHV v8s for trucks, big SUVs and powerful sports cars
6. Northstar v8s for luxury sedans/SUVs.

Older engines like the 3100, 3400 and 3800 will be used for cars sold in less wealthy places like Mexico or China.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
Originally posted by LakeMichigan@Jun 24 2004, 04:36 AM
Dodge actually offered a Nissan 6 cylinder diesel engine as an option for it's 1/2 ton models in the late 70's...when I was in the military, the base I was assigned to (overseas) had one...a 1978 or 1979...2wd longbox, 4 speed stick...
Not to be picky, but wasn't the Dodge diesel was a Mitsubishi? International Harvester used the Nissan diesel in the Scout.

I had forgotten about those two.

One of the more interesting (and funny) cases: In 1977, the AMC Gremlin was available with a 2.1 4-cylinder that was basically the same engine as the Audi 100 and the Porsche 924! AMC first bought the engines from Germany, then bought the entire manufacturing line and brought it to the states (or at least, that was the plan).

Porsche power in a Gremlin!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
I don't think AMC ever produced the engine, but the Audi 2.0L engine was used in the Gremlin. The "Iron Duke" was used in various AMC/Jeep products until the AMC 2.46L four (2/3 of the six) was developed.

On a sort of tangent, engine joint-ventures have been used in the past as well. The Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (PRV) V6 was used in various vehicles from the Peugeot 505 to the Renault 25 to the Volvo 780 to the Delorean and Eagle Premier and Citroen XM. It may have even been used in the last generation Renault Alpine.

Engines can be shared, especially among smaller makers and for vehicles that aren't performance (power and/or refinement) driven. It's always amazing when a smaller company comes out with a home-grown engine; just the expense of such a thing is mind-boggling. TVR, for example, introduced a completely fresh V8 a few years back...incredible for a company that produces 1,000 cars a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
Originally posted by LakeMichigan@Jun 24 2004, 12:26 PM
...I heard a story from a dealer some years ago that AMC as a company couldn't get enough of the Iron Duke (2.5 4 cyl) from GM, and it went to various Pontiac dealers in Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan and purchased crate motors to meet their demands!
Oh my god! What a way to run a car company!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,944 Posts
AMC was kind notorious for this kind of stuff.

It used a Buick 401 V8 in the Grand Wagoneer in the 1960's, they usually sourced a lot of transmissions from Chrysler and GM.
They used the 2.5 Iron Duke in alot of the smaller cars and Jeeps. They also used the Chevrolet 2.8 Litre V6 in Cherokees and Wagoneers(the YJ small ones) and it used Renault Diesels in the YJ utilities too. Later after Chrysler ownership, 318 and 360 V8's started to find their way in the later Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer models.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top