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May 15, 2008 - More than 10 Chinese automakers will join hands to develop automatic transmissions, especially the double-clutch transmissions (DCT), in an effort to reduce the import of these auto parts. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, will coordinate this research and development (R&D) project.

The joint R&D project will be carried out as a domestic joint venture (JV) involving more than 10 automaking companies in China such as FAW, SAIC, Dengfeng, Changan, Brilliance, Geely and Chery. The business of the JV, named "China United Development Industry Co. Ltd.," will be the development of automatic transmissions, focusing on the double-clutch transmissions (DCT). An insider of Changan Auto said his company will have 10% stake in the joint venture.

As one of the important auto parts, the automatic transmissions used in China's auto-making have been imported from foreign companies, and the annual export value exceeds 10 billion yuan ($1.43 billion). In January 2008, SAIC and Brilliance signed a deal to cooperate on the automatic transmission and created an example of joint development of important auto parts in China's auto industry. The top regulator promoted this cooperation to the fast-growing auto industry of the country.

Although the national automakers have joined together for this self-development project, the core technologies of the DCT are controlled by a few foreign auto-parts manufacturers, such as America's BorgWarner Transmission Systems and Germany's Schaeffler Group. Without these technologies, it is impossible to develop the DCTs independently in China.

An official of the NDRC recently said that China United Development Industry Co. Ltd has started to negotiate with BorgWarner Transmission Systems for cooperation on the DCT development in China. The cost for introducing the core DCT technologies of BorgWarner will be shared by the Chinese carmakers involved in the joint R&D project.

source: Gasgoo.com
 
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