GM Considering CVT Transmission for Small Cars
The current GM range doesn’t include any models with CVT, but they could be used on models such as the Chevrolet Spark, Aveo and Cruze in the next three years, said Mike Arcamone, CEO of GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, in an interview given to Autoweek magazine.
Also on the cards are some small capacity engines that use turbocharging technology. The two moves are aimed at helping achieve better fuel economy, which is the key to winning over U.S. customers to the latest wave of small cars that began with the launch of the Cruze this year and continues with the arrival of the four-seat Spark in the first half of 2012.
GM will have to improve the mileage on these models by at least 10 percent by the next model lineup change, according to Sohn Dongyoun, vice president of engineering at GM's global small- and minicar development team at GM Daewoo.
General Motors offered CVTs in three vehicles (Saturn Ion coupe, Vue SUV and the Opel Astra) for three years but dropped the transmission at the end of the 2005 model year. US customers should expect to see stylish models, such as the the Spark, that offer updated content, especially infotainment options, coupled with improved fuel efficiency.
The Spark, will test whether the recovering automaker has found the right formula by using a CVT. The car will be manufactured in North America, but Arcamone declined to identify the plant, though production in Mexico is the most probable.