June 6, 2006
GM to launch more six-speed automatic transmissions
Bedford, Indiana – General Motors has announced an investment of US$48 million in its Bedford, Indiana powertrain manufactory, as part of its commitment to offer one million vehicles annually with six-speed automatic transmissions by 2008. The company currently has 40 global applications of the fuel-saving transmissions in its 2006 and 2007 model year vehicles.
Currently, the transmissions are used in the GMC Yukon Denali family, Cadillac XLR-V, STS-V, Escalade, Chevrolet Corvette and heavy-duty pickups equipped with a 6.6-litre turbodiesel engine; models of the 2007 Cadillac STS and SRX, Saturn Aura, Saturn Outlook and Pontiac G6 will also use the transmission.
Advantages to the six-speed include improved fuel economy, better performance, a seamless shift feel and reduced engine rpm at highway cruising speeds.
The company’s investment, made partly with local incentives, will help transition hourly and salaried employees to the expanded work, and covers partial facility renovation, new machinery, equipment and tooling to support the additional volume of six-speed transmission cases and converter housings. GM’s transmission facilities in Ypsilanti and Warren, Michigan, and in Toledo, Ohio will also increase their six-speed transmission production.
Facility renovations at Bedford are set to begin in July; increased production of rear-wheel drive transmission cases is already under way, and production will begin on front-wheel drive cases later this year. Full volume for both RWD and FWD cases is expected by late 2008.