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New Venture Gear

New Venture Gear, now a division of Magna Powertrain, is an automobile and Light Truck transmission company that was started in 1990 as the first ever joint venture between any of the Big Three US automakers. General Motors and Chrysler Corporation were the participants. Operation and management of Chrysler's New Process Gear Syracuse, New York plant and GM's underutilized Muncie, Indiana Hydramatic transmission plant were shifted to New Venture Gear Company.[1]

Founding Partner Plant Histories

Hydramatic Muncie History

In 1902 Thomas W. Warner formed the Warner Gear Company in Muncie Indiana to manufacture automobile parts, steering, and transmission gears. In 1919, General Motors purchased the T.W. Warner Company, including its land and buildings. In 1920 GM reopened the plant under the name Muncie Products to manufacture transmissions and steering gear for their Oakland, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and GMC-Truck divisions. In 1932 GM closed the Muncie Products plant and consolidated operations to other divisions in response to the failing economy. The Chevrolet division re-opened the plant in 1935 to build car and truck transmissions. World War II halted non military vehicle production and the plant was converted to serve the US military demand till the war ended. The 50's and 60's saw expansion and growth. In the 70's and 80's GM swapped the plant to many different GM divisions ending with Detroit Diesel Allison in 1984 and GM Hydramatic in 1986.[2] In 1990 Hydramatic Muncie plant became part of the GM-Chrysler New Venture Gear. In February 2002 General Motors sold its minority 36% stake in the New Venture Gear company to DaimlerChrysler and the Muncie Transmission plant reverted to GM control. GM changed the plant name to "Manual Transmissions Of Muncie". The T.W. Warner Muncie plant closed in mid-2006 after a Century in operation and the property was turned over to Delaware County Indiana. The GM Muncie Transmission plant was demolished soon after turnover to the county.[3]

New Process Gear History

In 1888 Thomas W. Meachem founded the New Process Rawhide Company in Baldwinsville New York. In the late 1890s New Process Rawhide moved operations to Syracuse after a fire. In 1913 Thomas W. Meachem reorganized New Process Rawhide with one of his partners Artemus Vosburgh. The company was renamed New Process Gear to reflect the new corporate direction. In 1954, after a succession of owners including Willys-Overland,[4] New Process Gear became a subsidiary of Chrysler Corporation.[5] In 1990, under a new joint GM - Chrylser venture, New Process Gear was renamed "New Process Gear Division" of New Venture Gear. In 1998 Daimler Benz merged with Chrysler to form Daimler Chrysler. In 2002 Daimler Chrysler bought the entire 36% minority stake in New Venture Gear from GM while retaining ownership of the Syracuse New Process facilities. In 2004 Canada based Magna International purchased 80% of New Venture Gear from Daimler Chrysler. In 2007 Magna purchased the remaining 20% interest. The New Process gear plant remained property of Daimler Chrysler. Chrysler then leased the facilities to Magna.[6] This lease arrangement made it difficult to compete with the European manufacturing operation Magna directly purchased located in Roitzsch Germany.[7] A downturn in Jeep demand combined with DaimlerChrysler not replacing the Dodge Neon sharply curtailed demand for the Syracuse New Process Gear plant production. In 2009 design and engineering services were moved to Troy Michigan and Magna International announced its intent to close the Syracuse plant. The Syracuse New Process Gear plant planned closure in November 2011 was pushed out till 1st quarter of 2012.[8] After 124 years on Thursday August 24, 2012 New Process Gear ended production and closed their doors for the last time.[9]

New Venture Gear transmissions and transfer cases

The Muncie Indiana plant under New Venture Gear produced the well known NV4500, NV3500, and NV3550 light truck transmissions.

The Syracuse New Process Gear plant produced transfer cases for all of the "Big Three" Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. The NV 247 all-wheel drive transfer case, sold by Chrysler's Jeep division as the "Quadra-Trac II", the manual transaxle for the Dodge Neon and PT Cruiser (T-350), and manual transaxles for European export Chrysler minivans (T-650 & 750) were the bulk of their last years of production.

Transfer Case Model Nomenclature

Inside of a 231 New Process Gear transfer case.
Manufacturer Number of Speeds/Gears Strength Type
NP = New Process Gear
NV = New Venture Gear
1 = One speed (high range)
2 = Two speed (high and low range)
1 (low) to 7 (high) 1 = Part-time 4WD
2 = Full-time 4WD
3 = Electronic shift
4 = Not currently used
5 = Torsen-type differential
6 = Computer controlled multi-plate wet clutch
7 = GeroDisc
8 = Not currently used
9 = Viscous coupling
Source: Sankar K. Mohan of New Venture Gear

New Process Gear transfer cases

Model Full-Time High High Lock Low Range 2WD Differential
119 Yes No No No Viscous
128 Yes No No Yes Open
129 Yes No No Yes Viscous
147 Yes No No GeroDisc
203 Yes Yes 2.01:1 No Open
205 No Yes 1.98:1 Yes Locked
207 No Yes 2.61:1 Yes Locked
208 No Yes 2.61:1 Yes Locked
219 Yes Yes Yes No Viscous
228 Yes No Yes Yes Open
229 Yes No Yes Yes Viscous
231 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes Locked
233 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes
241 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes Locked
241OR No Yes 4.0:1 Yes Locked
242 Yes Yes 2.72:1 Yes Open
244 Yes Yes 2.72:1 No Open
245 Yes No 2.72:1 No
246 Yes Yes 2.72:1 Yes
247 Yes No 2.72:1 No GeroDisc
249 Yes No 2.72:1 No Viscous
261 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes Locked
263 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes
271 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes Locked
273 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes Locked

See also



  1. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Joint Venture Planned By G.M. and Chrysler - New York Times". 1990-02-07. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "New Process Gear and New Venture Gear History". 2004-09-29. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  4. ^ "MoparWiki". Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  5. ^ Central New York. "Last day for 300 New Process Gear workers; here are three who've moved on". Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  6. ^ "New Process Gear, Inc. | Company Profile from Hoover’s". Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  7. ^ "Magna Completes Purchase of New Venture Gear". 2003-12-22. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  8. ^ Dennis Nett / The Post-Standard. "New Process Gear in DeWitt plans to remain open into next year". Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  9. ^ Central New York. "New Process Gear stops production this week after 124 years". Retrieved 2013-05-09. 

Further reading

External links