Hanover, 26. January 2009 – until not so long ago, there were clear regional preferences when it came to choosing a transmission. While most north americans prefer an automatic transmission, and some have little use for a manual transmission, manual shifting still dominates in europe. In asia, cvt transmissions (among other transmission types) are particularly popular because they offer a lot of "shifting comfort" at a reasonable price, which makes them ideal for "mega-cities.
Trend reversal in the usa
after several years of increasing popularity of the dual clutch transmission (dct) in germany and europe, driven by volkswagen, this trend now seems to be spilling over to america even faster than expected. Since the fuel price crisis in the first half of 2008, the focus has shifted there, too: what is needed are transmissions that are comfortable as usual but also help save fuel. The dkg currently combines comfort and efficiency in the best way. Because a cvt is more inefficient (especially when transmitting high torques), the automated manual transmission is less comfortable and an "economical" torque converter automatic is more expensive.
Ford usa announced a few days ago that dual-clutch transmissions will be used in the "small car segment" there starting in 2010. The internal designation for the dkg at ford is "powershift", just like here in germany. In europe, the powershift transmissions are already in use at ford and its subsidiary volvo, supplied by transmission specialist getrag, which, incidentally, is closely linked to the carmaker via the joint venture getrag ford transmissions.