Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., Dana Holding Corporation and Fallbrook Technologies Inc. have announced the formation of strategic relationships to develop, manufacture and commercialize high-efficiency transmissions for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and off-highway equipment. These next-generation transmissions will be designed to increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and improve overall vehicle performance.
Fallbrook's NuVinci CVP technology, which enables designers to reduce the complexity of transmissions, superchargers, and other powertrain systems and allows the engine to operate at more efficient speeds, will be licensed to Allison and Dana.
Through its licensing agreement, Allison gains the exclusive right from Fallbrook to utilize its CVP technology to develop and commercialize primary drivetrain transmissions for Allison's end markets, which could include commercial vehicles, military applications and certain off-highway and large stationary equipment markets.
"As the premier global provider of commercial-duty fully automatic transmissions, Allison is committed to developing and implementing new technologies that meet the market need for improved performance, fuel economy and durability," says Lawrence E. Dewey, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Allison. "For nearly a century, we have earned the trust of our customers through an unwavering dedication to quality, integrity, and innovation – core values shared by Fallbrook and Dana. Ours is the ideal collaboration for developing new technology optimized for the next generation of commercial-duty vehicles."
Under a separate agreement, Dana will hold an exclusive license from Fallbrook to engineer and produce transmission components and other advanced powertrain solutions with the NuVinci CVP technology for passenger and certain off-highway vehicles in the end markets that Dana serves.
For end markets Allison Transmission serves, Dana and Allison have signed a letter of intent to explore a strategic alliance through which Dana would exclusively manufacture transmission components with NuVinci CVP technology for Allison.
"Through the launch of these long-term, strategic relationships with Allison and Fallbrook, both recognized innovation leaders, we continue to leverage technology synergies across all the markets we serve – passenger vehicle, commercial vehicle, and off-highway," says Roger J. Wood, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dana. "This technology is a true leap forward in transmission design that highlights our growing portfolio of advanced drivetrain systems and comprehensive vehicle solutions that drive customer value."
Fallbrook's proprietary NuVinci CVP technology is an award-winning, traction-based class of continuously variable transmission that is scalable and highly adaptable. It controls relationships of speed and torque and is applicable to mechanical devices that have a transmission or can benefit from speed or torque variation. The NuVinci transmission uses a set of rotating balls between the input and output components of a transmission. Tilting the balls changes their contact diameters and varies the speed ratio. Compared to other current transmission technologies, Fallbrook's analysis indicates that its NuVinci technology is less complex, scales and packages more easily, costs less to manufacture, and facilitates achieving optimum performance.
"Allison and Dana are transmission industry leaders and their investments in and adoption of our NuVinci technology represent a powerful endorsement of its readiness and value for multiple vehicle markets and other powered applications," says William G. Klehm III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fallbrook. "These strategic relationships will complement our already successful bicycle drivetrain and auxiliary power unit businesses. Additionally, the further adoption of NuVinci technology is consistent with Fallbrook's growth plans for the commercialization of accessory drive and other industrial applications."
Full-scale production of off-highway transmissions with NuVinci-equipped components in Dana's served markets is expected within the next three to five years, while implementation in passenger and commercial vehicles is anticipated before the end of this decade.