The big joint development program formed several years ago between General Motors, Daimler, Chrysler and BMW to develop the two-mode hybrid system for light duty vehicles is over. With all four automakers now having launched or about to introduce versions of the hybrid system, the joint program is being wound down and the Troy, Michigan office where engineers from each company collaborated will be closed by the end of this year. Most of the joint work actually ended last June and many of the staff have already been relocated to other facilities.
The Mercedes ML450 hybrid and BMW X6 ActiveHybrid are both going into production about now using a version of the two mode transmission built by Daimler.
Chrysler, which briefly built a version of the Durango and Aspen SUVs with the hybrid system last year, remains committed to re-launching the system in the Ram pickups in 2010. At this point however, it looks unlikely the planned light duty hybrid will launch anytime soon in the Ram 1500.
[Source: Detroit News]