New work at GM's Toledo Transmission plant - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

New work at GM's Toledo Transmission plant

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General Motors is revving up production on a brand new transmission that's built here in Toledo. The 8 speed line is set to debut this year. The new product is the latest multi-million dollar investment in Toledo but it probably won't be the last.

The all new Toledo built 8 speed is going into the Chevy Corvette Z06. Bob Widmer is the 8 speed Launch Manager, "With the new 8 speed you'll have lightening fast shifts, in fact faster than you could shift manually. This is a performance transmission for a high performance vehicle. Is there potential for it to go into other GM vehicles? Stay tuned. There are always opportunities but I cannot discuss future product planning."The 8 speed means smoother shifts and fewer trips to the gas station, "The final testing is not done just yet but we are estimating up to 5% fuel economy gains from a 6 speed transmission to the 8 speed."Tony Ostrowski is the Team Leader for Clutch Sub Assembly,"It's a big venture on GM's part. They are breaking out and looking at new ways of assembling parts. And once again Toledo is part of it? As long as we keep producing quality products we'll be part of it every time hopefully!"

They're doing something unique with the 8 speed. Widmer says instead of building an entirely new assembly line they are integrating it with the 6 speed, rear wheel drive line, "We did add some new equipment dedicated to just the 8 speed line, but they will all start out in the same place and they will all run through the same manufacturing process."

The launch process has been a long road. The first work on the 8 speed line inside the Toledo Transmission plant started more than two years ago and Ostrowski says it's been a team effort, "Its great for production workers to work alongside engineers on the project. There's a lot of knowledge and expertise that comes to the table with the whole team." Widmer says this may not be the end of the good news in Toledo, "Do you feel there's potential for more work? There is more room at the plant. We are always lobbying gm for more business and we'll take whatever comes at us."

They aren't talking specifics at this point but the 8 speed will be in production sometime this summer. GM invested more than 50 million in Toledo for the new line. Right now they build about 5,600 front and rear wheel drive, six speed transmissions at the plant every day. Those transmissions go into more than a dozen GM cars, trucks and SUV's. 


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