Ford Transmissions

I was reading the latest issue of Automobile magazine yesterday and came across a column blasting American auto companies for providing
much better cars to the European market than they provide to the American market. One of their prime examples was the Focus (totally different car in Europe).
What really caught my eye was the assertion that Ford engineering no longer has the expertise to design an automatic transmission in-house. I recall Nasser eliminated thousands of engineering jobs. My personal experience in engineering was that companies eliminate engineering jobs with no concern for whether or not they retain critical skills. Management's answer is to hire an outside company to provide needed skills. Of course, that means hiring someone with far less skill in a specialized technical area compared to the in-house engineer. This may have something to do with the poor reliability of certain transmissions as reported often in this newsgroup.
Guess that's why we pay top management so much money. They have to make these really difficult decisions that jeopardize the future of the business.
End of rant!
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Why do you think this is true? Most Ford automatics are designed in house, the main exceptions being the US manuals (various, ZF, Mazda, Aisin Warner), the 6 speed automatic used in Navigators and Explorers (ZF), and the 6 speed auto used in V-6 Fusions and Milans (Aisin Warner). The heavy duty truck transmissions are a Ford design. The automatics used in Mustangs, Town Cars, Grand Marquis, and Crown Victorias are a Ford design. The FWD automatic used in 4 cylinder Fusions, Milians, Foci, and Escapes is a Ford/Mazda design. The FWD six speed used in Taurus, Sable, Taurus X, Edge, MKZ, and MKX is a joint Ford/GM design (tailored to each others product line).
Do you think BMW, or Daimler, or Toyota, or Nissan are incompetent because they all buy transmissions from outside suppliers (BMW and Daimler buy many ZF transmissions, Toyota buys mostly from Aisin Warner, Nissan from Jatco, etc., etc., etc.).
Ed

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