Today we are discussing the world market for transmissions. Here are two examples of a transmissions used by many vehicle manufactures around the world. This transmission is called an AW TF-80SC, TF-81, AWF21, AF40-6, AM6, AW6A-EL, and AF21 depending on the automobile manufacturer using this transmission. This transmission can be found in Buick, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Opel, Saab, Volvo. The trend of manufactures buying transmissions instead of manufacturing a transmission for each model of car they make has been going on for quite some time. The advantage to the vehicle manufacture is cost. There are enormous costs from conception to research and development to the completed product coming out of a manufacturing facility.
Aisin-Warner was launched in conjunction with Aisin Seiki and Borg-Warner in 1969. Over the years, Aisin-Warner has become one of the largest, if not the largest, manufacturer of automatic transmissions in the world. They make manual transmissions as well that likely sell better in other parts of the world. Of the vehicles sold in the United States today, approximately 96% are made with automatic transmissions.
Because Aisin-Warner does not make cars, they can focus on transmissions. After research and development is complete for one transmission, with a few changes they are able to save on the research and development costs for other uses. Using the same design with lighter or heaver hardware, they are able to make a transmission that will work in a vehicle that is slightly heavier or lighter, or maybe has an engine with a little more or less horsepower. With this flexibility, they are able to meet the needs of automobile manufacturers from around the world. The TF60SN and the TR60SN is another Asian-Warner transmission that is used in Volkswagen. Other Asian-Warner transmissions are found in everything from Hyundai to Kia to Mitsubishi.
A German company, ZF Friedrichshafen also known as ZF group, ZF stands for Zahnradfabrik or “Great Factory”. Their transmissions have long been found in many European vehicles. These include Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, Mini, Land Rover and Jaguar. Over the last decade or so they have been showing up in Fords, Dodges and Jeeps.
As time goes on it seems to be more and more cost effective for automobile manufacturers to outsource some of the major components of their vehicles.
We at Advanced Transmission Center are continually studying all of the new transmissions being used today. We do this through webinars from our transmission specific technical sites, transmission specific seminars and transmission digest, an industry publication with technical information and industry news.
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