Developing cars and pieces thereof is getting increasingly costly, and that’s why even the fiercest rivals band together to share the mounting financial burden. GM and cross-town rival Ford agreed to jointly develop a new line of nine- and ten-speed automatic transmissions, Reuters says.
GM and Ford will build both FWD and RWD variants. The gaggle of gears is one way to cope with the U.S. government mandate that by 2025, automakers should sport a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 54.5 miles per gallon (23.2 km per liter). According to Reuters, “that translates to about 39 mpg in real world driving, or nearly two thirds higher than the average fuel economy for the 2012 model year vehicles.”
The new transmissions are expected to reach the market beginning in 2016. According to the New York Times, the joint effort can save “hundreds of millions of dollars and considerable development time.” What’s more, “it also saves the cost of licensing the design and production rights from a specialist transmission supplier like ZF of Germany or Aisin of Japan, which can cost up to $100 per unit.” When bought in not insignificant quantities, of course.