German Transmission Manufacturer ZF To Take Over U.S Market
Soon enough, American drivers will have a hard time choosing anything less than an 8-speed gearbox. German engineering company Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) has grand plans to take over the American marketplace with 8 and 9-speed transmission. The number of automotive companies interested in these new transmission are staggering as well, a few of the big names include, but are not limited to: Jaguar, Land Rover, Jeep, Chrysler, Audi, and BMW have all shown interest in converting over. With the demand needs to come the supply, and ZF is planning on producing over a million transmission as their initial projected annual production.
Fuel Efficiency: An Enormous Selling Point
ZF claims that their new gear boxes are going to translate into huge savings for consumers as they are going to be receiving substantially better MPG. They’ve stated that their designs for longitudinal drivetrains can provide upwards of 11% of gas savings. These numbers increase even further, surprisingly, when outfitted on a hybrid, upwards of 25%! These are big numbers which are hard to ignore in a time when fuel efficiency is the main selling point for many vehicles nowadays.
ZF has spoken up about how their transmission currently cannot fit all the vehicle types they would like to. But that in time, as demand grows and the transmission weight and functionality can be adjusted, they will be able to use them for a wide range of applications across most vehicle types. Zf’s new $600 million facility they’v built to produce their new transmissions will overtime be outfitted to be able to produce the various types of transmissions that will be in demand.
The Main Difference Compared To Other Transmissions
ZF 8 and 9-speed transmissions use what are called dog clutches rather than the traditional clutches used to reduce drag. A dog clutch is one that couples two rotating shafts not by friction but by interference. The two parts to the clutch are made in a way that one will push the oter, which allows both to rotate at the same speed and makes it so the gears never slip. They’ve also changed the spread and steps of the gear ratios as well, all of which help increase a vehicles overall fuel efficiency. There is no doubt smaller gearboxes will always be around so long as the demand is present, but it should be expected that 9-speed transmission will dominate the market in the near future.
What This Means In The Future
The future for transmission manufacturers doesn’t look as good for U. S companies as it does for ZF. In fact, it looks rather bleak. The biggest hurdle is going to be overcoming the tremendous market share the ZF is seizing since they are the initial market movers, which means as such, they will garner most of the transmission sales to top auto manufacturers. In the short run there is very little to be done as there is no real competition present as yet. No doubt U.S manufacturers will be scrambling to come up with their own products to compete, but the only question is, will they be able to do it in time?
At AAMCO Colorado, we love cars as much as you do. But we also want your vehicle to drive in a safe and properly operating condition. If you live in Colorado, and need a Transmission Service, Radiator Repair, Brake Repair, or any other Automotive Repair, please contact your local AAMCO Colorado Location to schedule an appointment. Because those who know, go to AAMCO!