GM and Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp (SAIC) have a healthy partnership in China, with their recent joint venture (with Wuling) to create a new car brand called Bao Jun (treasured horse). Furthering their partnership, the two have announced their plans of co-developing powertrains and dual clutch transmissions for small vehicles.

They will be concentrating on small displacement engines with direct injection and turbo charging technology, ranging from 1.0 litres to 1.5 litres. Both companies will use the engines in their respective brands in China and the rest of the world. Work will be carried out consecutively by engineers in Detroit and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint venture in Shanghai.

The new transmission on the other hand, will be for front wheel drive vehicles (the common engine/driveline layout for compact cars) and will feature dual dry clutch technology. This will allow improvements in fuel economy and performance with reduced CO2 emissions – when both the engine and transmission are combined, it is said to provide up to 20% improvement in fuel consumption compared to other transmissions manufactured in China.

“These development agreements open an exciting new chapter in the partnership between SAIC and GM. Not only will they add critical green technologies to our next-generation vehicles, they will also build on the strong engineering capabilities forged as a part of GM and SAIC’s corporate responsibility,” said Hu Maoyuan, Chairman of SAIC.