U.S. automakers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors said Monday they would join forces to develop energy-saving nine- and 10-speed transmissions.
With more gears, an engine can run more efficiently, as it has more options for various road conditions. Ford and GM may also be motivated by a desire to keep up with Chrysler, which has already said new model Jeep Cherokees will be outfitted with nine-speed transmissions, USA Today reported.
The joint project, GM and Ford said, would go beyond research and development, as the companies also plan to develop transmissions with interchangeable parts, Ford's chief engineer for transmissions, Craig Renneker, said.
"We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both company's future product portfolios," said Jim Lanzon, GM's vice president of global transmission engineering.