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Ford, GM boost transmission spending $720 million
April 19, 2004 10:58:10 (ET)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Ford Motor and General Motors on Monday said they will spend another $720 million in their collaboration on a six-speed front-wheel drive automatic transmission.

Production of the transmission will begin in 2006, the companies said.

GM will invest $350 million and Ford will invest $370 million in equipment and facilities. Regionally, the program will keep 900 jobs in the companies' home state of Michigan with 200 more elsewhere. Two plants will produce the transmission in Michigan and one plant will be in Ohio.

Testing and development will be done in concert but the manufacturing will be at separate facilities.

With six speeds, the automakers said the transmission should be 4 percent more fuel efficient than current four-speed versions.

Plans for the transmission were announced in late 2002.


Article Here
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Apr 19 2004, 08:28 PM
Testing and development will be done in concert but the manufacturing will be at separate facilities.
i'll be very curious to see how this pans out after a few years. ideally they would be identical (GM and ford versions) reliability-wise, but i have to wonder if that'll be the case.
 

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720 mill for a 4% gas mileage increase. Wow! so thats the cost of getting that last inch of results. Its no wander they went in toghther. Smart Business!
 

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Will this transmission be easily converted to use in AWD applications then? Because I think, at least with Ford, AWD is going to be an increasingly common option for their vehicles, beginning with the 500.
 

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"...Ford Motor and General Motors on Monday said they will spend another $720 million in their collaboration on a six-speed front-wheel drive automatic transmission."

So does this mean that the [RWD] Corvette and STS (and the like) will have to wait even longer still for their 6-speed trannies? That would be most unfortunate, particularly considering MB soon will be peddling their 7-speed.

Who knows which GM models will be sporting this tranny? The next generation LeSabre/Park Avenue? I'm hardly an engineer, so I feel a little lost in understanding the intricacies of applying/converting this transmission to AWD, as awalbert88 asked, or RWD. It seems to me that there would be a larger need for RWD applications, so the FWD use seems perplexing [and irritating] to me.

What do the engineering-minded among us have to say?
 

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i dont think there has been any announcements made for the gm apps for this trans. but i do know its being built in the hyrdramatic plant which i think is in warren...but im sure it it will take the place of the 4t4x and the 4t65. i cant see them making one in the near future to do the 4t80, but i could be wrong. i guess GM is moving there trans them to 6-speeds since they have that manual too thats comin out next year. oh and for the rwd apps., i dont think it will matter too much from their 5-speeds. i mean 4% from 4 to 6, i dont see a huge reason to move from 5 to 6.
 

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It's about time the 2 sleeping giants invested in some updated transmission technology! Fords AXOD originated in the 86 Taurus and GM's current 4T65 started life in 83 as the infamous 440. Aside from numerous valve body and electronic updates these trannys have been much the same. I have yearned for a nice 5 or 6 speed auto with snappy first and second gears and sporty shifts, something neither company has done too well with lately.
 

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Originally posted by ponchoman49@Apr 19 2004, 07:38 PM
It's about time the 2 sleeping giants invested in some updated transmission technology! Fords AXOD originated in the 86 Taurus and GM's current 4T65 started life in 83 as the infamous 440. Aside from numerous valve body and electronic updates these trannys have been much the same. I have yearned for a nice 5 or 6 speed auto with snappy first and second gears and sporty shifts, something neither company has done too well with lately.
hey i love my 3t40 in my transport!! :D
 

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There is a 6spd coming soon, and the Zeta chassis was designed for it, and its actualy in the Velite concept. Its the 6L80E trans. That trans should hold a large amount of power, over 500tq. And for 4%, thats quite a lot of money. I assume that this trans will be able to go AWD for both Ford and GM. If both companies use this, this will increase price of the car, and price of the trans if 2 different companies are using it for 2 mega # fleets. MB might have a 7spd, but for ther 120k S600 sedan... when you compare that to a 26k Malibu witha 6spd, thats mightly fine. A 7spd is really overkill. Id like to see more CVT's made stronger to take larger V6's. Offers greater performance, and greater gas milage with less moving parts.
 

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I would be happy with a 5 but its good they are thinking ahead on this and going for a 6. The days of the 4 speed should have been over a long time ago. Not only should it increase fuel efficiency but also acceleration and maybe top speed depending on how they decide to gear it. Its an overall improvement for vehicles when they get more gears. The manufacurers will decide the ballance.
 

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WHOA!
it would have been usefull to see it attached to a dohc engine, but this looks really compact!

way to go!

720 million looks like a lot, but given the number is going to be made in (for the next two decades probably), it's not that much of an investment
 

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Originally posted by awalbert88@Apr 19 2004, 09:01 PM
Will this transmission be easily converted to use in AWD applications then? Because I think, at least with Ford, AWD is going to be an increasingly common option for their vehicles, beginning with the 500.
Ford's AWD's will use thier CVT transmission only.
 

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Originally posted by doh+Apr 20 2004, 09:36 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (doh @ Apr 20 2004, 09:36 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-awalbert88@Apr 19 2004, 09:01 PM
Will this transmission be easily converted to use in AWD applications then?  Because I think, at least with Ford, AWD is going to be an increasingly common option for their vehicles, beginning with the 500.
Ford's AWD's will use thier CVT transmission only. [/b][/quote]
Interesting... that's the opposite of Audi, who only offers a CVT on their FWD version of cars (whereas AWD gets mated to a 5 or 6-speed auto)
 

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why does it cost $720-million, and take the two largest auto-makers to come up with a transmission with two extra cogs, and only 4% better efficiency? :D wait, maybe i shouldn't be so pesemistic - it could have cost twice that much, with get half the benefit :D
 

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This is great news. If for no other reason, they will be competitive with or surpass the foreign brands. It is a lot of money but there are advantages.

1) Fuel economy gain, it's 4%, but for me the consumer, all I kow is I'm paying less at the pump.
2) Acceleration, by having more total gears, they can hava lower first and second gears for better off-the-line starts.
3) Refinement, they can space the 6 gears closer together so that the shifts are less perceptible, and the top gear could be higher so the car can cruise at lower RPM for less noise, and an engine that's less stressed. All this gives the test-driver a perception of quality and refinement, making it more likely that they'll buy GM.
 
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