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GM may sell Two-Mode hybrid systems to Ford

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GM Anxious To Sell New Two-Mode Hybrid Transmission To Other Automakers
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Link to Original Article @ AutoNews


Ford and General Motors could get a lot closer.

The automakers have co-developed a six-speed automatic for front-drive cars. Now Ford is interested in using GM's Two Mode hybrid transmission, which debuts on the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs.

Kuzak said Ford has been talking to GM about buying a version of the Two Mode for use in rear-drive trucks. No deals have been announced.

GM is anxious to sell the transmission to other automakers to increase production and lower costs.

GM also has a fwd version of the Two Mode slated for production next year in the Saturn Vue. That gearbox could replace the one in the current versions of the Escape and Mariner hybrids and be used in the upcoming Fusion and Milan. The GM transmission probably would cost less than the hybrid transmission Ford imports from Japan from Aisin AW and would offer better fuel economy.

But Ford plans to go its own way on another technology: dual clutch manual transmissions. Ford is working with Germany's Getrag Corp. to bring the fuel-saving gearbox to North America around 2010.

A dual clutch manual gearbox shifts electrically without interrupting power to the rear wheels. A 6 to 10 percent fuel economy saving over automatics is expected. Ford calls the technology Power Shift. Versions would be used in compact and mid-sized cars.

Suppliers say Ford is developing a six-speed automatic transmission for Super Duty pickups.
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I have mixed feelings over GM selling it to other companies. It would be good financially, but what about sales? I would like to see GM own the market and be ahead of everyone.

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I have mixed feelings over GM selling it to other companies. It would be good financially, but what about sales? I would like to see GM own the market and be ahead of everyone.

I agree. When I first saw the headline I was like, Why? But I guess if it helps GM get some of the development money back and helps another AMERICAN automaker at the same time I guess I'm for it. Ford needs all the help it can get at this point with its lackluster line-up and not that much in the pipeline that looks promising.
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This is off topic but I just noticed you two are members 3 and 4 and joined the day before me. I'm 172 and joined the next day! Wow! that's a bunch of people that joined in one day!

Edited by HUMVEE
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I am in the 'Why would you do this?' category. Seriously. I have to ask why you would spend the money to develop this and then help your competion by selling it to them. I am confused.

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You sell it because it brings in revenue, lowers your cost to produce them, and increases output at the plant producing them.

GM already stated they will have to eat some of the cost of the hybrid drivetrain. If they can sell it to other automakers, they may not have to. If they sell it to other automakers at a premium, it may actually subsidize the hybrid systems GM puts in its own vehicles.

If it costs GM $5,000 to put it in the Tahoe, but it selling it to Ford for lets say $8,000, that puts GM at a $3,000 cost advantage. It sounds like it's win-win for both GM and Ford. Ford could choose to develop their own system, but it would take years to develop, and probably wouldn't be any cheaper.

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GM will own the market on this one at least at the beginning. There isn't enough time between now and when the two-modes launch for other markets to match or beat GM to market. Even if GM sold the technology to Ford, etc, they'd barely have enought time to prep it for the 10MY.

The GM/Ford sharing has been in the works for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if the new F150 was being designed to accept GM's dualmode technology since day 1.

Edited by jbartley
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So we know that GM, Chrysler, MB, and BMW all are planning to use this basic design (though tuned differently for each application). Add in Ford and it seems as though GM is willing to sell it to just about anyone except the Asian competition. Which I think is a great move!

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Would you rather they license the technology from Toyota?

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Ford and GM Cooperating like this would be a good thing IMO...

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Selling a new technology like that to competing manufacturers would probably increase consumer acceptance also?

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As long as the asian companies are shut-out, I think I'm fine with this.

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As long as the asian companies are shut-out, I think I'm fine with this.

^^^

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As long as the asian companies are shut-out, I think I'm fine with this.

^^^ X2

I would normally be opposed to this sort of thing, but Ford needs all the help it can get right now and GM will still occupy the majority of the market simply because Ford doesn't have the lead in time or mass quantity of products to put it in. However, I would be/am worried about them beating GM to the midsize car portion of the equation as they seem to be pretty ambitious with the next Fusion while GM doesn't seem to be that concerned with applying the technology to their cars.

It is a vote of confidence that the GM system is better than Toyota's since Ford is considering changing sides.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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I don't think there is any reason to worry about GM selling the technology to the Asians.

To me, this is just an extension of GM and Ford working together which, IMO, is not a bad thing at all. It makes sense to sort of help each other out in order to balance the financial disadvantages they have when compared to Toyota and friends. We can't count on the currency manipulation to stop nor can we count on the UAW to make the changes needed to put the Big Three on an even playing field. While GM, Ford, and Chrysler are still individual companies, they do not need to be concerned so much with competing against each other. As sad as it is, I think they NEED to work together (should I go so far to say as a team?) to some extent or else they will just plummet farther. It's about survival now and that means doing what it takes to show the Asians how it is done. If that requires the sharing of resources, fine.

Ford is currently in a much worse position than GM. It may be expensive for them to buy the Two Mode from GM but it is certainly cheaper than designing its own system from the ground up. Better still, they can implement it a lot sooner than if they had to design and build it themselves. The hard work is already done.

The deal would help GM financially, save precious time that Ford doesn't have, and give two of the American automakers a leg up on the competition in terms of fuel efficiency. I see no problem here.

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If this is true, this is fantastically great news.

Just imagine, in the near-term, nearly the entire world standardizing on the two-mode technology.

Costs are minimized.

Bugs are worked out more quickly.

U.S. and European suppliers actually have a competitive shot at hardware.

Cobasys and Saft and other non-japanese suppliers being able to bid on and receive contracts for batteries.

And allied Asian suppliers such as Suzuki and Mazda can join in too.

This would seem to be a far superior business model.

Toyota says - it's mine and you may be able to purchase it, but I will hold it over your head and limit access to critical parts.

You are my captive customer.

GM says - We're in this together. Help us cut the costs and you can benefit too, with a level playing field and full access to designs and critical parts.

We are partners.

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This would seem to be a far superior business model.

Toyota says - it's mine and you may be able to purchase it, but I will hold it over your head and limit access to critical parts.

You are my captive customer.

GM says - We're in this together. Help us cut the costs and you can benefit too, with a level playing field and full access to designs and critical parts.

We are partners.

aka:

toyota being a monopolizer.

GM being a capitalist.

Go GM!

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