The Detroit Three rivalry between General Motors and Ford is something we’re very used to. Just look at Chevy Camaro versus the Ford Mustang, and again with the Silverado and F-Series. There was once a bitter rivalry between the Chevrolet Venture and Ford Freestar minivans, but that’s a story for another time.
What we’re not entirely used to seeing just yet is when the two automakers pair up for sweet joint-venture project, which according to Automotive News, is happening. And it’s just what the doctor ordered, as it will hopefully bring the automakers up to speed in the transmission department. And it will avoid the dreaded CVT.
According to AN’s sources, GM is forwarding the design of a nine-speed gearbox for use in front-wheel-drive vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford will be fronting the development of a 10-speed transmission for rear-wheel-drive vehicles such as pickups, SUVs and possibly performance cars. Hot.
According to GM spokespeople, the companies “are in discussions” and have signed a memorandum of understanding “to jointly develop a variety of all-new, fuel-efficient transmissions.” But a “definitive agreement” has yet to be reached, or announced.
The benefits of the venture are significant R&D savings between the two automakers, and the companies would be able to combine the gearboxes with their own engines through their software and hardware.