General Motors (GM - Get Report) , co-designer with Ford (F - Get Report) on a new 10-speed transmission about to be equipped on several new vehicle models, said it is confident buyers of GM vehicles will experience no trouble from the new gearbox.
The new GM transmission is available on the latest version of the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car. The automaker hasn't yet said which other models, including GM pickup truck models like the Chevrolet Silverado, will come with the transmission, which was designed mainly to improve fuel economy.
Though the automakers designed the transmissions together to save on costs, each automaker manufactures its own.
Following news reports that Ford was holding back thousands of Ford F-Series pickups due to quality snags, GM asserted that it wasn't aware of any manufacturing or design flaws. The F-Series and full-size pickus built by GM are the automakers' biggest moneymakers, responsible for the lion's share of profits of both companies.
"Launches are complex, and every one of them presents different challenges and opportunities," a Ford spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. "Our process is to work through any issue and ensure that our customers receive a quality vehicle."
Mike Albano, a GM spokesman said: "We do not anticipate any delays in any of our 10-speed applications, which will be available in multiple models next year. We can assure our customers that we have one of the most robust development processes in the industry and we are confident they will have trouble free experience."
GM is introducing a nine-speed transmission for its cars.
Since news reports of 10-speed transmission glitches affecting F-Series surfaced, Ford shares have shrugged off any concerns of financial repercussions, rising from about $12.30 to about $12.70. In the same two-day period, GM shares rose to about $35.80 from $35.20.
Mike Levine, a Ford spokesman, characterized the launch process of the 10-speed as "normal" and noted that trucks with the new transmission have been sold at Ford dealerships for the past month.
Conventional automatic transmissions typically have been designed with three or four gears. As gas mileage standards became tighter, automakers began adding gears-- five or six gears is now the convention for most automatics. By adding even more gears, automakers can incrementally improve efficiency, while adding complexity as well.
In the past year, Ford has introduced an aluminum body in order to remove weight from the vehicle and improve fuel efficiency. Ford and GM, while collaborating on transmission design, have sniped at one another over use of aluminum, which GM has advertised as less durable than steel.