Allison Transmission
Type Transmission Manufacturing
Founded Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. 1915
Founder(s) James A. Allison
Headquarters Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Owner(s) The Carlyle Group and Onex Corporation

Allison Transmission is an American manufacturer of commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems. Allison products are specified by over 250 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and are used in many market sectors including bus, refuse, fire, construction, distribution, military and specialty applications. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Allison Transmission has regional offices all over the world and manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana and Szentgotthard, Hungary.[1]


Allison began in 1909 when James A. Allison, along with three business partners, helped found and build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1911, Allison’s new track held the first Indianapolis 500 mile race. In addition to funding several race teams, Jim Allison established his own racing team in 1915 and quickly gained a reputation for his work on race cars and automotive technology in general.[2]

When World War I began, Allison suspended racing and his company began machining parts, tools and masters for the Liberty airplane engine — the main power plant used in the US war effort. After the war, Allison entered a car in the 1919 Indy 500 and won. It was the last race Allison’s team ever entered. Instead, he turned his company’s attention to aviation engineering. The company’s expertise in aviation was the major factor in General Motors decision to buy the company following Jim Allison’s death in 1928.[3][4][5]

Shortly after the sale to General Motors in 1929, Allison engineers began work on a 12-cylinder engine to replace the aging Liberty engines. The result was the V1710 12-cylinder aircraft engine and it made the company, now known as the Allison Engine Company, a major force in aviation.[6]

Toward the end of World War II, General Motors formed Allison Transmission to put the engineers’ expertise to work in a new field — power transmissions for tracked military vehicles. The new division developed a transmission combining range change, steering and braking.[7][8]

After WWII, Allison Transmission turned its attention to civilian transportation. Allison designed, developed and manufactured the first-ever automatic transmissions for heavy-duty vehicles like delivery trucks, city buses and even locomotives. The days of manual shifting were over, and a new era of commercial transportation began.[8][9]



  • 1949—Allison begins production of CD-850 tank transmission, division’s most historically significant transmission[9]
  • December 1949—First rail car transmission is produced; installed in Budd Rail Car


  • April 1952—10,000th transmission is delivered to U.S. Army[citation needed]
  • January 1956—Allison introduces on-highway automatic, employing a four-element torque converter, six forward speeds, one reverse.[citation needed]


  • October 1960—First Allison XT-1410-2 transmission is produced
  • June 1961—Allison announces MT Series transmissions
  • July 1962—Allison TT-2000 Hydro Powershift transmission is introduced
  • March 1965—Introduction of dual path DP-8000, largest single-package Allison Powershift transmission to date
  • July 1966—Allison announces new DP-8960 for large off-highway trucks
  • November 1966—Lithium-chlorine fuel cell is unveiled
  • October 1967—First prototype of the Allison-equipped U.S. Army main battle tank is unveiled in Washington, D.C.[10][11]
  • February 1969—Allison introduces electric gearshift control system for off-highway vehicles
  • July 1969--Apollo 11 astronauts make man’s first landing on the moon; Allison propellant tanks are part of the descent stage


  • September 1970—Merge with Detroit Diesel Engine to form Detroit Diesel Allison Division, headquarters in Detroit
  • January 1971—Allison introduces first 4-speed automatic transmission for 72,000 lb (33,000 kg). GVW highway vehicles; Allison model HT-740
  • April 1973—First fully automatic transmission for large trucks, scrapers and other types of heavy-duty off-highway vehicles is introduced; Allison model CLBT 750
  • 1974—First European office is established
  • October 1974—Technician’s Guild is added to sales and service training programs to upgrade diesel engine and heavy-duty transmission servicing skills[citation needed]
  • December 1976—Brazil office is established[citation needed]
  • April 1978—Production begins of X-1100 transmission for new M1A1 Abrams tank[citation needed]
  • 1979—Development of Allison SCAAN helps ensure transmissions function properly in various installations[citation needed]


  • October 1982—A new generation heavy-duty automatic transmission, the Allison DP 8962, is announced; incorporates over 15 new technology internal changes[citation needed]
  • May 1983—GM sells Allison Gas Turbine Division; Allison becomes part of newly formed GM Power Products and Defense Operations Group[12]
  • June 1986—First X200 military transmission is released[13]
  • December 1987—Detroit Diesel Allison becomes Allison Transmission, Division of General Motors
  • February 1988—New automatic transmission for use in Class A motorhomes is released; Allison model AT 542[citation needed]


  • February 1991—Allison introduces electronically controlled World Transmissions
  • November 1995—Allison adopts lean manufacturing principles and begins implementing Allison Production System (APS), a cellular manufacturing system; some 10,000 machines and support equipment are re-arranged through all plants
  • 1999--Hybrid bus program is demonstrated for New York City Transit Authority
  • June 1999—Allison introduces 1000 Series and 2000 Series fully automatic transmissions


  • 2000—Production begins at plant in Szentgotthard, Hungary[citation needed]
  • 2000--Hybrid electric program is launched
  • September 2000—Test Track 2000 is first customer ride and drive simulating real-world operating conditions; held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida[citation needed]
  • January 2001—Allison unveils first-of-its-kind parallel hybrid technology
  • February 2001—Allison Transmission aligns[clarification needed] with GM Powertrain[citation needed]
  • November 2003—Allison's Ultimate Truck Driving Adventure takes ride and drive experience to extremes in the high desert of Nevada
  • November 2003—Allison Vocational Models are released to better serve specific applications
  • May 2005--Shanghai Customization Center is opened
  • 2007—Five millionth Allison commercial transmission is produced[citation needed]
  • June 2007—GM announced that it was selling Allison Transmission to private equity firms The Carlyle Group and Onex Corporation, in a deal valued at $5.6 billion.[14] The transaction closed on August 7, 2007.
  • 2008—Allison introduces on-board prognostics on model-year 2009 automatic transmissions
  • 2009—Allison took an approximately 10% stake in U.K.-based Torotrak [15]
  • 2010-Manufacturing plant opened in Chennai, India also establishing regional headquarter with executive,marketing and sales offices[citation needed]
  • June 2010-Allison dedicates a new hybrid manufacturing plant in Indianapolis, Indiana.[16]


Past productsEdit

  • Allison V transmission—VH, VH2, VH4, VH5, VH6, VH7, VH9, VS1, VS2-6,VS2-8, V730, V731, VR731, VR731RH
  • Allison MH marine reverse and reduction gear
  • Allison AT transmission—AT540, AT542, AT543, AT545
  • Allison MT transmission—MT640, MT643, MT644, MT647, MT648, MT650, MT653DR, MT654CR, MTB643, MTB644, MTB647, MTB648, MTB653DR, MTB654CR, MT30, MT41,MT42
  • Allison HT transmission—HT740D, HT740RS, HT741, HT746, HT747, HT748, HTB748, HT750CRD, HT750DRD, HT754CRD, HT755CRD, HT755DRD, HTB755CRD, HTB755DRD
  • Allison World Transmission—MD3060, MD3060P, MD3560, MD3560P, MD3066, MD3066P, HD4060, HD4060P, HD4560, HD4560P

Current[when?] North American productsEdit

  • Allison Highway Series
  • Allison Rugged Duty Series
  • Allison Pupil Transport/Shuttle Series
  • Allison Bus Series
  • Allison Emergency Vehicle Series
  • Allison Motorhome Series
  • Allison Truck RV Series
  • Allison Specialty Series
  • Allison Oil Field Series
  • GM-Allison Hybrid—EP40 & EP50 Hybrid Electric Drive Units

Current international commercial productsEdit

  • Allison 1000 Series
  • Allison 2000 Series
  • Allison 3000 Series
  • Allison 4000 Series
  • GM-Allison Hybrid—EP40 & EP50 Hybrid Electric Drive Units

Hybrid buses transit clientsEdit

GM-Allison debuted the hybrid technology for transit buses in 2003. Through 2011, it intends to introduce 16 hybrid models.[17]

In 2008, the number of GM-Allison hybrid buses are more than 2,700 units in 81 cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe.[17] This includes:


External linksEdit

Hybrid busesEdit

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