General Motors and Ford are investing almost .75 Billion dollars into three plants to make fuel-efficient, six-speed front wheel drive transmissions.
Following a pattern of increasing cooperation in R&D between rivals as a way to manage costs, the two teamed up in October 2002 to work together on the device. Further cooperation may ensue -- they both seem pretty pleased with the result.
Six-speed transmissions were highlighted as an important short-term technology for reducing CO2 emissions in the CARB workshop (posts below). Ford and GM estimate their new transmission can cut CO2 emissions by 4%. The new systems should be in cars for the 2007 model year.