Ford and GM will jointly develop a new range of nine and 10-speed automatic transmissions for their cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks.

The new transmissions, to be built in both front and rear-wheel-drive variants, are aimed at improving performance and increasing fuel economy and marks the third time in the past decade that GM and Ford have collaborated on vehicle transmissions.

It follows the announcement by Land Rover in February of its new ZF 9HP transmission, which it has been testing on the Range Rover Evoque.

By collaborating, Ford and GM will be able to bring its new transmissions to market more quickly and at lower cost.

“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.”

Previous ventures have focused on both company’s American products (Ford Edge crossover, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Cruze), but given Ford’s global success with the Focus, we might just see the result of this new venture here in the UK.