As the world of automotive manufacturing evolves and becomes highly advanced, it is enabling companies to produce revolutionary products that will improve fuel economy as well as the overall performance of the vehicle. 

The latest effort to bring the combustion-engine automobile even further into the 21st century will come through a joint collaboration between U.S. auto pioneers General Motors and Ford Motor Company, both of which have agreed to jointly develop a new form of car for the next generation. The vehicles will be made with nine- and 10-speed automatic transmissions that can be used in small cars, crossover vehicles, large SUVs and even large trucks.

The transmissions will also work for both front- and rear-wheel driven automobiles. By working together, the two auto giants will be able to optimize all processes related to development, engineering, testing and validation. The processes will also be accomplished faster, performed more accurately and come at a lower cost by putting resources together.

“Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering. “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 companies’ future product portfolios.”

According to Autoblog, this isn’t the first time two rivals have put their heads together to develop and test new products. Several vehicles, including the Ford Edge, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Equinox were engineered and tested in a similar, and demonstrated major successes. 

Beyond the testing phase, however, each company will then be responsible for manufacturing the new cars in their own assembly plants.

Going about the engineering and testing phase in this way has helped both companies expedite the process, which has allowed each to deliver more than 8 million long-lasting, quality transmissions all over the world. In a release, the companies stated that joining forces will lead to much more efficient processes.

“The goal is to keep hardware identical in the Ford and GM transmissions. This will maximize parts commonality and give both companies economy of scale,” said Craig Renneker, Ford’s
chief engineer for transmission and driveline component and pre-program engineering. “However, we will each use our own control software to ensure that each transmission is carefully matched to the individual brand-specific vehicle DNA for each company.”

Lanzon added that the joint development of the transmissions will allow the companies to “more efficiently use our respective manpower resources” to create and test advanced automotive transmissions and “bring them to market faster than if we worked alone.”

According to The Associated Press, the highly technical process of engineering and testing new automobiles and components has driven many car companies to work together despite being arch rivals. This is especially true when manufacturers set out to create advanced or hybrid vehicles, which require much more focused development. 

To ensure these products are brought to market swiftly and in the best working condition, it will be crucial for both GM and Ford perform rigorous testing procedures to save on higher costs down the road.