DETROIT (WWJ) General Motors and Ford say they are working together to produce a new generation of nine-speed and 10-speed automatic transmissions that will go into millions of future vehicles.

“Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions,” said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering. “We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both companies’ future product portfolios.”

With stricter fuel economy rules coming, car companies have been doing all they can to find ways to make vehicles more fuel efficient. Adding more speeds to transmissions is one way to do that. However, that adds cost, and complexity.

By sharing the development costs, Ford and GM save millions of dollars. This is the third time they have worked together on new transmission technology. In fact, many of the vehicles being produced by both companies today have a jointly developed six-speed automatic transmission.

“With the jointly developed six-speed automatics we have in production today, we’ve already proven that Ford and GM transmission engineers work extremely well together,” said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of powertrain engineering. “Our front-wheel-drive transmissions have exceeded expectations and there is every reason to believe we will have the same success with these all-new transmissions.”

Neither Ford, nor GM will give a lot of details on the new project, including a timetable or a list of vehicles that will have the new automatic transmissions.

Watch & Listen LIVE