• |
  • |
  • GM, Ford Combine Forces To Build All-New Transmission

GM, Ford Combine Forces To Build All-New Transmission

GM, Ford Announce $720 Million Investment To Build All-New Front-Wheel-Drive TransmissionApril 19, 2004

Apr 20, 2004
112 0309 Suv Blank
  |   Ford and GM Announce New Six-Speed Automatic Transmission Program:GM VP Tom Stephens, UAW VP Richard Shoemaker, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, GM Director of Labor and Economic Growth for the state of Michigan David Hollister, Sterling Heights, Michigan Mayor Richard Notte, Ford UAW Vice President Gerald Bantom, and Ford VP Dave Szczupak announced that Ford and GM will invest $720 million to build an all-new, front-wheel-drive six-speed automatic transmission. The program will retain more than 1100 manufacturing jobs at the two companies.
Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corp., two of the world's largest automakers, have jointly announced a $720 million investment in their plants to build an all-new, fuel-saving, six-speed front-wheel-drive (FWD) automatic transmission. More than 1100 jobs will be retained as a result.

The transmission, initially announced in October 2002, will be jointly designed, engineered and tested by the automakers. It will be built separately at GM's Warren, Michigan, transmission plant and Ford's Van Dyke (Sterling Heights, Michigan) and Sharonville, Ohio, transmission plants.
Photo 2/3   |   Ford's all-new, front-wheel-drive six-speed automatic transmission
Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Powertrain, and Dave Szczupak, vice president, Ford Powertrain Operations, made the announcement this morning to the Southeast Michigan Automotive Press Association at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, also in attendance, praised the automakers for their cooperative effort and the retention of 900 jobs in Michigan.
"This partnership between Ford and GM will strengthen Michigan's manufacturing might and affirm Michigan's place as the world leader in automotive technology," Granholm said. "It is this kind of visionary cooperation that will truly drive Michigan's 21st century economy."
To manufacture the transmission, GM is investing $350 million and Ford is investing $370 million. The investments include new equipment, tooling and facilities upgrades at their respective plants.
The new six-speed is expected to offer up to four percent improvement in fuel economy over traditional four-speed automatic transmissions available in today's front-wheel-drive cars. Production is scheduled to begin at both companies in 2006 for FWD and all-wheel-drive passenger cars and sport/utility vehicles.
Ford's Van Dyke plant will build major components and assemble the transmission. Its Sharonville plant, the company's new center of excellence for gear machining, will manufacture the gears for Ford transmissions.

GM's Warren plant will build major components and assemble GM six-speeds. GM partnered with UAW leaders, the city of Warren and the state of Michigan to retain more than 500 jobs in Warren.
Photo 3/3   |   Ford's all-new, front-wheel-drive six-speed automatic transmission
"This new transmission will be a great product, and we are looking forward to producing it at the Warren plant where management, union and employees are working to make it a success," said Stephens. "The investment underscores GM's commitment to keep Michigan's auto industry and communities world class and strong."
Ford partnered with UAW leaders and the cities of Sterling Heights and Sharonville, retaining up to 400 jobs at Van Dyke and 250 at Sharonville. "This is an important transmission for Ford, the UAW, our Van Dyke and Sharonville plants, and our customers," said Szczupak.
"Six-speeds are the future," said Szczupak. "They help to optimize power, smooth operation and fuel economy. This is why they are going to become more prevalent. Twenty-five years ago, the average American was driving a car with a three-speed automatic, so this is a trend worth noting."
Working together allows both companies to bring the transmission to market faster while cutting costs. Each company is responsible for integrating the transmission into its own vehicles. The powertrains will be distinct in feel and performance because the transmissions will be mated to different engines.
Plant Background
GM's Warren plant was purchased in 1960 by GM, has more than 2 million square feet, and employs almost 1700 people. The plant builds four-speed FWD automatics, transmission stampings and torque converters for GM cars and trucks.
Ford's Van Dyke plant opened in 1968, has 2 million square feet and employs more than 1900 people. The plant builds four-speed FWD automatics for the Ford Focus, Taurus, Freestar, and Mercury Sable.
Ford's Sharonville plant opened in 1958, has 2.4 million square feet and employs more than 2,200 people. Today, the Sharonville plant builds five-speed and four-speed automatics for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and Jaguar rear-drive sedans and SUVs. In November, Ford announced a $155 million investment at the plant to produce gears for a new rear-drive six-speed automatic to debut in 2005.
- OF

MOST POPULAR

POPULAR TRUCKS

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
TO TOP