Transmission trends in the U.S. market; Chrysler introduces 8-speed AT

63.4% of vehicles built in North America are 6-speed ATs

2012/10/05

Summary

 Following is an outline of transmission type configurations of the passenger cars and light trucks (SUV, pickups and vans) that major OEMs manufactured and sold in the U.S.

 The first half of this report covers vehicles manufactured in North America (the U.S., Canada and Mexico) for the U.S. market and the latter half covers all the vehicles sold in the U.S., which include imports.

Transmission configurations for vehicles manufactured in North America (Model Year 2003-2012)

Vehicles
manufactured
in
North America
All the vehicles manufactured in North America * Most transmissions of vehicles manufactured in North America for the U.S. market are automatic. In MY2012, the ratio of ATs slightly rose to 95.5%, from 93.6% in MY2003.
* The ratio of 6-speed ATs is sharply rising. In MY2009, each of the 4-, 5- and 6-speed ATs accounted for almost the same ratio of around 30%. In MY2012, however, 6-speed ATs held 63.4%, showing the growing trend of multi-speed gear shifting.
* In MY2003, 4-speed ATs accounted for 78.1%, which had gradually decreased to only 7.5% in MY2012.
* The ratio of 5-speed ATs dropped as well to 17.9% in MY2012.
* ATs with seven and more gears appeared later in the 2000s and accounted for 1.9% in MY2012.
Passenger cars Passenger cars * The AT ratio of passenger cars has stably been above 90%. In MY2012, ATs accounted for 91.5%, while MTs accounted for 8.5%.
* The ratio of 6-speed ATs is rapidly growing also for passenger cars, from 19.2% in MY2009 to 59.3% in MY2012.
* Chrysler introduced an 8-speed AT model in MY2012, which accounted for 1.6% of the passenger cars.
* Although 4-speed ATs held 84.0% in MY2003, the ratio dropped to 8.1% in MY2012.
Light trucks Light trucks * Most transmissions of light trucks are automatic. In MY2012, ATs accounted for 98.8%.
* While both 5- and 6-speed ATs held about 40% respectively in MY2009/ 2010, the ratio of 6-speed ATs sharply rose to 66.6% in MY2012, supported by Ford, which promoted application of 6-speed ATs.
* 4-speed ATs held only 7.1% and 5-speed ATs held 19.5% in MY2012.
Source: WARD'S Automotive Yearbooks
(Note) 1. Figures for MY2012 are provisional data of a mid-year survey in August 2012.
2. The data apply to the models produced by the 14 automakers in North America (US, Canada, Mexico) and sold in the United States.
3. The 14 automakers manufacturing in North America are the Detroit Three (GM, Ford, Chrysler), seven Japanese automakers (Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Fuji Heavy (Subaru), Suzuki), and four European and Korean automakers (VW, BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Hyundai-Kia Group).
4. The figures for 4-speed AT in MY2003 include those of 3-speed AT (below 0.1%).


Related Reports: Engine downsizing trends in the U.S. market (Sep. 2012)



Transmission configurations of vehicles built in the U.S. for MY2009-2012: multi-speed gear shifting on the rise, 6-speed ATs account for 63.4% and Chrysler launches the 8-speed AT

 The ratio of 6-speed ATs on the MY2012 passenger cars and light trucks produced in North America and sold in the U.S. continuously rose to 63.4%, more than twice as much as 29.1% in MY2009. Although both 4- and 5-speed ATs accounted for almost the same ratio as 6-speed ATs in MY2009, both ratios dropped to 7.5% and 17.9%, respectively, in MY2012.

 Especially, the Detroit Three are promoting adoption of 6-speed ATs. In MY2010, the ratio of 6-speed ATs of their vehicles manufactured in North America was 38.1%, which sharply rose to 68.5% in MY2011 and to 77.5% in MY2012. Ford introduced a 6-speed AT to its all-new Explorer in MY2011 and replaced most of the 5-speed ATs on its light trucks with 6-speed ATs. Among the compact sedans launched in the same year, the Chevrolet Cruze and the Ford Fiesta are offered only 6-speed gear shifting for ATs.

 In MY2012, Chrysler mounted the 8-speed AT developed by ZF on the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger mid-size sedans. The OEM plans to expand adoption of 8-speed ATs to passenger cars and light trucks. Chrysler plans to introduce 9-speed ATs on the new Chrysler 200, to be released in MY2014, and reportedly on the Jeep brand models.

 It has been reported that GM and Ford are planning to launch the 8-speed AT which they will develop respectively and introduce on the Cadillac and Lincoln brand vehicles by 2014.

 As for transmissions of Japanese vehicles manufactured in North America, 5-speed ATs accounted for the largest ratio in MY2012 with 40.1%. The ratio of 6-speed ATs was only 29.8% although it had largely increased from 6.0% in MY2009. The ratio of CVTs was 11.3% in MY2012 and comparatively high, especially for Nissan and Subaru vehicles.

 Manual transmissions (MTs) accounted for 4.5% of the MY2012 vehicles manufactured in North America, slightly decreased from 5.1% in MY2009. Multi-speed gear shifting is also a growing trend in MTs and the ratio of the 6-speed MT has exceeded that of the 5-speed MT since MY2010.

 

Transmission configurations of North American produced vehicles sold in the US (MY2009-12)

(Units)
Type Number of gears Vehicles Percentage
MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2012 MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2012
Vehicles
manufactured
in
North America
MT 5-speed 280,156 224,530 171,968 145,100 3.5% 2.3% 1.5% 1.5%
6-speed 124,384 285,829 317,493 276,626 1.6% 2.9% 2.8% 2.9%
Sub-total 404,540 510,359 489,461 421,726 5.1% 5.2% 4.2% 4.5%
AT 4-speed 2,256,582 2,181,424 1,591,879 711,110 28.4% 22.1% 13.8% 7.5%
5-speed 2,378,161 3,066,666 2,325,730 1,685,259 29.9% 31.1% 20.2% 17.9%
6-speed 2,311,380 3,251,176 6,294,357 5,970,150 29.1% 32.9% 54.6% 63.4%
7/8-speed 97,000 124,900 249,600 174,505 1.2% 1.3% 2.2% 1.9%
CVT 495,665 739,589 579,770 461,305 6.2% 7.5% 5.0% 4.9%
Sub-total 7,538,788 9,363,755 11,041,336 9,002,329 94.9% 94.8% 95.8% 95.5%
Total 7,943,328 9,874,114 11,530,797 9,424,055 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Passenger cars MT 5-speed 240,724 174,302 125,759 130,402 6.2% 3.8% 2.7% 3.1%
6-speed 93,378 235,659 276,384 227,413 2.4% 5.1% 6.0% 5.4%
Sub-total 334,102 409,961 402,143 357,815 8.6% 8.9% 8.8% 8.5%
AT 4-speed 1,279,694 1,369,002 867,982 343,590 32.9% 29.9% 18.9% 8.1%
5-speed 1,112,162 869,003 923,697 676,506 28.6% 19.0% 20.2% 16.0%
6-speed 746,032 1,335,165 1,982,693 2,511,041 19.2% 29.1% 43.3% 59.3%
8-speed 0 0 0 66,805 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.6%
CVT 417,922 598,122 404,542 277,005 10.7% 13.1% 8.8% 6.5%
Sub-total 3,555,810 4,171,292 4,178,914 3,874,947 91.4% 91.1% 91.2% 91.5%
Total 3,889,912 4,581,253 4,581,057 4,232,762 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Light trucks MT 5-speed 39,432 50,228 46,209 14,698 1.0% 0.9% 0.7% 0.3%
6-speed 31,006 50,170 41,109 49,213 0.8% 0.9% 0.6% 0.9%
Sub-total 70,438 100,398 87,318 63,911 1.7% 1.9% 1.3% 1.2%
AT 4-speed 976,888 812,422 723,897 367,520 24.1% 15.3% 10.4% 7.1%
5-speed 1,265,999 2,197,663 1,402,033 1,008,753 31.2% 41.5% 20.2% 19.4%
6-speed 1,565,348 1,916,011 4,311,664 3,459,109 38.6% 36.2% 62.0% 66.6%
7/8-speed 97,000 124,900 249,600 107,700 2.4% 2.4% 3.6% 2.1%
CVT 77,743 141,467 175,228 184,300 1.9% 2.7% 2.5% 3.6%
Sub-total 3,982,978 5,192,463 6,862,422 5,127,382 98.3% 98.1% 98.7% 98.8%
Total 4,053,416 5,292,861 6,949,740 5,191,293 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
(Note) 1. The vehicles manufactured in North America account for 81.2 % (11.54 million units) of the MY2011 models that sold 14.21 million units (manufactured in North America and imports).
2. Among the 7/8-speed for light trucks, the 8-speed ATs were mounted only on 4,200 units of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles in MY2010.
3. The Chevrolet Volt does not have transmissions. (MY2011: 3,724 units, MY2012: 15,748 units)

 

(Reference) Transmission configurations of North American produced vehicles sold in the US by the Detroit Three

(Units)
Type Number of gears Vehicles Percentage
MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2012 MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2012
Vehicles
manufactured
in
North America
MT 5-speed 101,566 80,335 83,328 83,661 2.2% 1.5% 1.2% 1.5%
6-speed 51,135 123,856 125,624 123,548 1.1% 2.3% 1.9% 2.2%
Sub-total 152,701 204,191 208,952 207,209 3.3% 3.9% 3.1% 3.7%
AT 4-speed 1,913,110 1,504,491 1,025,510 341,916 41.5% 28.5% 15.2% 6.1%
5-speed 717,793 1,383,907 700,301 467,289 15.6% 26.2% 10.4% 8.3%
6-speed 1,710,549 2,006,655 4,609,589 4,368,036 37.1% 38.1% 68.5% 77.5%
7/8-speed 0 0 0 66,805 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.2%
CVT 118,312 173,705 187,348 181,391 2.6% 3.3% 2.8% 3.2%
Sub-total 4,459,764 5,068,758 6,522,748 5,425,437 96.7% 96.1% 96.9% 96.3%
Total 4,612,465 5,272,949 6,731,700 5,632,646 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Passenger cars MT 5-speed 73,353 49,152 47,120 75,848 4.3% 2.8% 2.4% 3.5%
6-speed 23,392 91,684 99,059 82,131 1.4% 5.1% 5.0% 3.8%
Sub-total 96,745 140,836 146,179 157,979 5.7% 7.9% 7.3% 7.4%
AT 4-speed 1,004,915 813,049 454,716 90,746 59.4% 45.6% 22.8% 4.2%
5-speed 169,342 119,001 147,501 106,164 10.0% 6.7% 7.4% 4.9%
6-speed 379,567 638,552 1,194,689 1,676,439 22.4% 35.8% 59.8% 78.1%
7/8-speed 0 0 0 66,805 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.1%
CVT 41,427 71,367 53,755 47,522 2.4% 4.0% 2.7% 2.2%
Sub-total 1,595,251 1,641,969 1,850,661 1,987,676 94.3% 92.1% 92.7% 92.6%
Total 1,691,996 1,782,805 1,996,840 2,145,655 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Light trucks MT 5-speed 28,213 31,183 36,208 7,813 1.0% 0.9% 0.8% 0.2%
6-speed 27,743 32,172 26,565 41,417 0.9% 0.9% 0.6% 1.2%
Sub-total 55,956 63,355 62,773 49,230 1.9% 1.8% 1.3% 1.4%
AT 4-speed 908,195 691,442 570,794 251,170 31.1% 19.8% 12.1% 7.2%
5-speed 548,451 1,264,906 552,800 361,125 18.8% 36.2% 11.7% 10.4%
6-speed 1,330,982 1,368,103 3,414,900 2,691,597 45.6% 39.2% 72.1% 77.2%
7/8-speed 0 0 0 0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CVT 76,885 102,338 133,593 133,869 2.6% 2.9% 2.8% 3.8%
Sub-total 2,864,513 3,426,789 4,672,087 3,437,761 98.1% 98.2% 98.7% 98.6%
Total 2,920,469 3,490,144 4,734,860 3,486,991 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

(Note) All of 7-/8-speed ATs for Detroit Three's vehicles produced in North America are 8-speed ATs.

 

(Reference) Transmission configurations of North American produced vehicles sold in the US by Japanese OEMs

(Units)
Type Number of gears Vehicles Percentage
MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2012 MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2012
Vehicles
manufactured
in
North America
MT 5-speed 89,391 103,902 54,172 33,160 3.5% 2.8% 1.6% 1.3%
6-speed 73,249 96,975 87,121 62,299 2.9% 2.6% 2.6% 2.5%
Sub-total 162,640 200,877 141,293 95,459 6.4% 5.4% 4.3% 3.8%
AT 4-speed 322,734 676,933 566,369 369,194 12.7% 18.3% 17.1% 14.9%
5-speed 1,519,959 1,533,487 1,319,123 995,675 60.0% 41.4% 39.9% 40.1%
6-speed 152,682 726,812 889,100 740,291 6.0% 19.6% 26.9% 29.8%
7/8-speed 0 0 0 0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CVT 377,353 565,884 392,422 279,914 14.9% 15.3% 11.9% 11.3%
Sub-total 2,372,728 3,503,116 3,167,014 2,385,074 93.6% 94.6% 95.7% 96.2%
Total 2,535,368 3,703,993 3,308,307 2,480,533 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Passenger cars MT 5-speed 78,571 84,857 44,171 26,275 4.6% 3.7% 2.4% 2.0%
6-speed 69,986 80,098 75,752 54,503 4.1% 3.5% 4.2% 4.1%
Sub-total 148,557 164,955 119,923 80,778 8.8% 7.3% 6.6% 6.1%
AT 4-speed 274,779 555,953 413,266 252,844 16.2% 24.5% 22.7% 19.2%
5-speed 825,587 600,730 469,890 348,047 48.8% 26.4% 25.8% 26.4%
6-speed 65,809 423,555 466,451 407,722 3.9% 18.6% 25.6% 30.9%
7/8-speed 0 0 0 0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CVT 376,495 526,755 350,787 229,483 22.3% 23.2% 19.3% 17.4%
Sub-total 1,542,670 2,106,993 1,700,394 1,238,096 91.2% 92.7% 93.4% 93.9%
Total 1,691,227 2,271,948 1,820,317 1,318,874 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Light trucks MT 5-speed 10,820 19,045 10,001 6,885 1.3% 1.3% 0.7% 0.6%
6-speed 3,263 16,877 11,369 7,796 0.4% 1.2% 0.8% 0.7%
Sub-total 14,083 35,922 21,370 14,681 1.7% 2.5% 1.4% 1.3%
AT 4-speed 47,955 120,980 153,103 116,350 5.7% 8.4% 10.3% 10.0%
5-speed 694,372 932,757 849,233 647,628 82.3% 65.1% 57.1% 55.8%
6-speed 86,873 303,257 422,649 332,569 10.3% 21.2% 28.4% 28.6%
7/8-speed 0 0 0 0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
CVT 858 39,129 41,635 50,431 0.1% 2.7% 2.8% 4.3%
Sub-total 830,058 1,396,123 1,466,620 1,146,978 98.3% 97.5% 98.6% 98.7%
Total 844,141 1,432,045 1,487,990 1,161,659 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

 

 



Transmission configurations of vehicles sold in the U.S. in MY2009-2011 (a total of imports and vehicles manufactured in North America that were sold in the U.S.)

 The transmission configurations of vehicles sold in the U.S. in MY2011, including those manufactured in North America for the U.S. market and imports, are listed below. The ratio of 6-speed ATs was 49.9%, slightly lower than that of the vehicles produced in North America (54.6%). The ratio of 4-speed ATs and 5-speed ATs were 14.4% and 18.9%, respectively, while those of the North American made vehicles were 13.8% and 20.2%.

 It is noteworthy that 7-/8-speed ATs account for 4.3% of transmissions of vehicles sold in the U.S., which is higher than the ratio of vehicles manufactured in North America (2.2%). It is due to the high ratio (13.3%) of 7-/8-speed ATs of all the import vehicles (17.5% of all the import passenger cars). The ratio of 7-/8-speed ATs is especially high with imports of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the Nissan Infiniti brands.

Transmission configurations of vehicles sold in the US (Produced in North America and Imports)

(Units)
Type Number of
gears
Vehicles Percentage
MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2009 MY2010 MY2011
US sales total MT 5-speed 458,129 396,731 310,952 4.4% 3.2% 2.2%
6-speed 250,268 422,843 456,058 2.4% 3.4% 3.2%
Sub-total 708,397 819,574 767,010 6.9% 6.6% 5.4%
AT 4-speed 2,774,710 2,691,076 2,044,001 26.9% 21.7% 14.4%
5-speed 2,875,212 3,555,833 2,684,830 27.9% 28.7% 18.9%
6-speed 3,110,263 3,845,265 7,088,468 30.2% 31.1% 49.9%
7/8-speed 354,782 606,559 2.9% 4.3%
CVT 844,977 1,110,137 1,015,742 8.2% 9.0% 7.1%
Sub-total 9,605,162 11,557,093 13,439,600 93.1% 93.4% 94.6%
Total 10,313,559 12,376,667 14,206,610 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Passenger
cars
MT 5-speed 416,185 321,710 262,375 7.6% 5.1% 4.1%
6-speed 216,992 370,148 412,452 4.0% 5.9% 6.5%
Sub-total 633,177 691,858 674,827 11.5% 11.0% 10.6%
AT 4-speed 1,677,100 1,754,562 1,191,081 30.6% 27.9% 18.8%
5-speed 1,324,234 1,092,007 1,106,550 24.2% 17.4% 17.4%
6-speed 1,128,683 1,729,285 2,456,817 20.6% 27.5% 38.7%
7/8-speed 149,703 220,224 309,895 2.7% 3.5% 4.9%
CVT 569,787 800,947 611,909 10.4% 12.7% 9.6%
Sub-total 4,849,507 5,597,025 5,676,252 88.5% 89.0% 89.4%
Total 5,482,684 6,288,883 6,351,079 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Light trucks MT 5-speed 41,944 75,021 48,577 0.9% 1.2% 0.6%
6-speed 33,276 52,695 43,606 0.7% 0.9% 0.6%
Sub-total 75,220 127,716 92,183 1.6% 2.1% 1.2%
AT 4-speed 1,097,610 936,514 852,920 22.7% 15.4% 10.9%
5-speed 1,550,978 2,463,826 1,578,280 32.1% 40.5% 20.1%
6-speed 1,831,877 2,115,980 4,631,651 37.9% 34.8% 59.0%
7/8-speed 134,558 296,664 0.0% 2.2% 3.8%
CVT 275,190 309,190 403,833 5.7% 5.1% 5.1%
Sub-total 4,755,655 5,960,068 7,763,348 98.4% 97.9% 98.8%
Total 4,830,875 6,087,784 7,855,531 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Source:WARD'S Automotive Yearbooks
(Note) Imports include the Jaguar/Land Rover, Porsche, Saab and Volvo brands in addition to the 14 automakers listed above.

 

(Reference) Transmission configurations of imported vehicles (MY2009-2011)

(Units)
Type Number of
gears
Vehicles Percentage
MY2009 MY2010 MY2011 MY2009 MY2010 MY2011
Imports Total MT 5-speed 177,973 172,201 138,984 7.5% 6.9% 5.2%
6-speed 125,884 137,014 138,565 5.3% 5.5% 5.2%
Sub-total 303,857 309,215 277,549 12.8% 12.4% 10.4%
AT 4-speed 518,128 509,652 452,122 21.9% 20.4% 16.9%
5-speed 497,051 489,167 359,100 21.0% 19.5% 13.4%
6-speed 701,883 594,089 794,111 29.6% 23.7% 29.7%
7/8-speed 229,882 356,959 9.2% 13.3%
CVT 349,312 370,548 435,972 14.7% 14.8% 16.3%
Sub-total 2,066,374 2,193,338 2,398,264 87.2% 87.6% 89.6%
Total 2,370,231 2,502,553 2,675,813 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Passenger
cars
MT 5-speed 175,461 147,408 136,616 11.0% 8.6% 7.7%
6-speed 123,614 134,489 136,068 7.8% 7.9% 7.7%
Sub-total 299,075 281,897 272,684 18.8% 16.5% 15.4%
AT 4-speed 397,406 385,560 323,099 25.0% 22.6% 18.3%
5-speed 212,072 223,004 182,853 13.3% 13.1% 10.3%
6-speed 382,651 394,120 474,124 24.0% 23.1% 26.8%
7/8-speed 149,703 220,224 309,895 9.4% 12.9% 17.5%
CVT 151,865 202,825 207,367 9.5% 11.9% 11.7%
Sub-total 1,293,697 1,425,733 1,497,338 81.2% 83.5% 84.6%
Total 1,592,772 1,707,630 1,770,022 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Light trucks MT 5-speed 2,512 24,793 2,368 0.3% 3.1% 0.3%
6-speed 2,270 2,525 2,497 0.3% 0.3% 0.3%
Sub-total 4,782 27,318 4,865 0.6% 3.4% 0.5%
AT 4-speed 120,722 124,092 129,023 15.5% 15.6% 14.2%
5-speed 284,979 266,163 176,247 36.7% 33.5% 19.5%
6-speed 169,529 199,969 319,987 21.8% 25.2% 35.3%
7/8-speed 9,658 47,064 1.2% 5.2%
CVT 197,447 167,723 228,605 25.4% 21.1% 25.2%
Sub-total 772,677 767,605 900,926 99.4% 96.6% 99.5%
Total 777,459 794,923 905,791 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

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