Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has crafted a multi-year extension of its long-term partnership with Allison Transmission, making Allison’s product the exclusive automatic transmission installed in all DTNA product lines, including Freightliner, Western Star, Freightliner Customer Chassis and Thomas Built Buses.
Freightliner and Western Star are also releasing special “Allison Optimized” automatic transmission packages across a variety of vocational vehicles – bundling Allison’s best “feature content” with application specific vehicle integration, Jim Wanaselja, Allison’s vp-North American marketing, sales and service, told FleetOwner.
“This initiative streamlines the transmission ordering and vehicle integration process for the end user, dealer, OEM, and Allison,” he explained. “Also, vehicles equipped with ‘Allison Optimized’ transmission packages feature a unique badge.”
He added that the “optimized” transmissions are geared to offer increased drivability and safety, along with extended maintenance intervals, extended coverage and greater overall vehicle value.
Mark Lampert, DTNA’s senior vp-sales and marketing, noted that Allison’s transmissions will be geared to work in conjunction with engines from DTNA’s sister company, Detroit Diesel Corp., with the extended partnership helping to provide what he called “superior engine/transmission integration” in areas such as fuel efficiency and future product offerings.
Left undetermined is how this new deal impacts the availability of the Mercedes-Benz Automated Gear Shift (AGS) transmission, introduced back in 2003 for Freightliner’s Business Class M2 medium-duty truck. Built off a 6-speed manual Class 8 transmission platform, the AGS is a “two-pedal” transmission model that uses a hydraulic shift actuator. As of press time, no one at DTNA was available for comment.