As part of Fiat S.p.A.’s plans to manufacture vehicles in China (the largest vehicle market in the world) next year, the company will be building transmission units in the country, a person familiar with the agreement disclosed on Thursday.
The deal will be announced during the visit of the country’s president, Xi Jinping, to Rome, on Friday, according to the source. In 2009, the company and Hong Kong-based Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd. entered into a joint venture to manufacture cars in China.
Guangzhou Automobile is the country’s sixth biggest domestic carmaker. According to the source, the transmission units will be created in partnership with Guangzhou and China-based Hangzhou Advance Gearbox Group. The source did not disclose the financial details of the deal.
On the other hand, sources that are close to Fiat in Turin disclosed that the agreement relates to the C630 six-speed dry dual-clutch transmission, which is currently being developed at the company’s Powertrain Technology subsidiary.
This unit is designed as a mass-produced high-volume unit to be provided to Fiat, GAC, and Chrysler in China, Europe and the U.S. Fiat launched the C635, another six-speed dry dual-clutch unit, on the Alfa Romeo MiTo subcompact model in late 2010.
The company revealed that its dry dual clutch units reduce about 10 percent of fuel consumption versus the traditional automatic transmission because of their lower internal friction. The C635, which is built in Verrone, Italy, will be used as well in the Giulietta compact hatchback this summer and in the 2012 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger in the U.S.