Chrysler is set to become the first U.S.-based automaker to adopt eight-speed automatic transmissions. ZF announced on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to provide its increasingly widely used 8HP transmission for Chrysler applications. Initially, ZF will build transmissions for Chrysler, but the automaker is also getting a license to produce the transmissions in-house. Chrysler will tool up its Kokomo, IN transmission plant by 2013 to produce the 8HP and at the same time ZF will build a new American plant of its own.

No product has been announced to use the transmission, but since this a longitudinal unit, it will likely be the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger/Challenger and SUVs like the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 8HP is already in use by BMW for the 5 and 7 Series and Volkswagen Group for the Touareg, Audi Q7 and A8 and Porsche Cayenne.

[Source: ZF]


PRESS RELEASE

ZF AND CHRYSLER GROUP LLC REACH AGREEMENT FOR NEW 8HP 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS

Chrysler Group LLC becomes new customer for ZF 8-speed automatic transmissions
Additional license agreement enables Chrysler Group to produce 8-speed transmissions
ZF to build new North American transmission plant by 2013

Friedrichshafen. ZF and Chrysler Group LLC have reached a supply and license agreement for ZF's HYPERLINK "http://www.zf.com/media/media/img_1/corporate/press/presse/07-053-1_8hp_zf_lg.jpg" 8HP 8-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler Group is licensed to produce the 8HP at the company's Indiana Transmission Plant I and the Kokomo casting plant, starting in 2013.

Chrysler Group LLC will initially receive the 8HP 8-speed automatic transmissions from the ZF Getriebe GmbH plant in Saarbrücken, Germany. By 2013, in parallel with Chrysler Group, ZF is setting up a new transmission production plant in North America, where the 8-speed transmissions will be produced.

"As the U.S. auto industry continues its rebound, we see considerable growth opportunities within it – especially for next-generation vehicles, such as those at Chrysler Group that will use the 8HP 8-speed automatic," says Hans-Georg Härter, ZF's President and CEO. "America is the birthplace of the automotive automatic transmission and we feel it is important for ZF to participate in the business here with a dedicated manufacturing facility. We are excited to begin this venture."

"The American market remains as mobile as ever, so the importance of environmentally friendly, fuel-saving technology has never been more important," says Dr. Gerhard Wagner, Group Executive of ZF's Car Driveline Division. "ZF is a leader and innovator in fuel-saving transmission technology and our 8HP 8-speed automatic offers efficiency without sacrifice."