As General Motors works toward meeting the same federally-mandated future fuel economy regulations faced by all automakers, continuously-variable transmissions (CVTs) could infiltrate more of its products.
Currently, GM offers a single passenger vehicle equipped with a CVT: the Chevrolet Spark. The transmission is supplied by Nissan subsidiary Jatco Ltd.
At a conference in Traverse City, Michigan, GM Vice President of Global Propulsion Systems Dan Nicholson said the automaker is “optimistic about CVTs in the U.S. market for front-wheel-drive applications up to a certain weight level… [CVTs] don’t make sense in everything, but you will see more of that from GM in the future”, quoted Automotive News.
As for where GM’s future CVTs might come from, Mr. Nicholson didn’t rule out any possibilities: “We are happy with the product we are buying today,” he said. “It is enjoying good success in the marketplace. We usually look at make-vs.-buy and volumes.” Nonetheless, a new CVT could be developed in-house, or conceivably in-partnership with Ford like the new Ford-GM 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions.