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 LIVONIA, Mich., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In the 1980s, the Ford Automatic Overdrive (AOD) Transmission revolutionized the automobile industry, and saved Americans millions of gallons in gasoline. Today marked the end of an era, as the last AOD transmission rolled off the assembly line at Ford's (NYSE: F) Livonia Transmission Plant. Nine million AOD transmissions have been installed into Ford, and Lincoln-Mercury cars and trucks.
 The AOD was the first domestically produced automatic overdrive transmission when it went into production in the spring of 1979. Its four speeds resulted in a substantial increase in fuel economy over the three-speed models offered by Ford and other manufacturers at that time.
 "This transmission was the most advanced of its time," said Dick Hausman, facility and engineering manager at the Livonia Plant. "We had two major oil shocks in the 1970s, and Ford put a lot of engineering resources behind the effort to make our vehicles more fuel-efficient. When the AOD came out, we knocked the socks off the competition in terms of fuel economy."
 Since the 1980 model year, the AOD has been offered in a wide range of cars and trucks, including the Ford F-Series pickup, Ford Crown Victoria, Thunderbird and Mustang; Mercury Grand Marquis and Cougar, and the Lincoln Town Car, and Mark VI and VII. In its last year of 1993, it is offered in the Ford Mustang, Thunderbird and F-Series pickup, and the Mercury Cougar.
 The AOD is being replaced with a more advanced transmission that creates even better fuel economy, vehicle performance and smoother shifts: the Ford AOD-E. The AOD-E has four speeds, is completely electronically controlled, and is tied to the engine's Electronic Engine Control (EEC-IV) module. The EEC-IV module controls such things as transmission shift speeds, and torque converter lockup and modulation.
 With AOD production phased out, all of Ford's mass-produced automatic transmissions are electronically controlled, including the new CD4E front-wheel-drive transaxle, which went into production at the Ford Batavia (Ohio) Transmission Plant in March. The Ford Van Dyke (Mich.) Plant in January will launch another new front-wheel-drive transaxle called the AX4N.
 Manufacture of the new rear-wheel-drive AOD-E transmission began at Livonia in 1992. With the phase-out of the AOD, the capacity of Livonia to produce the AOD-E will expand from 900,000 to 1.1 million units a year. Employment at Livonia will remain stable.
 "The AOD transmission earned an outstanding reputation for durability -- as well as fuel efficiency -- and we improved it considerably over its life," said Hausman. "Now we will continue the improvements with the AOD-E."
 The Livonia Transmission Plant opened in 1952, and also produces the AXOD-E front-wheel drive transaxle for the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, and Lincoln Continental. The AXOD-E became electronically controlled for the 1991 model year.
 "What is happening at Livonia is part of an ongoing technology revolution at Ford Motor Company," said Bob Transou, vice president and general manager, Ford Powertrain Operations. "All of our engines, as well as our transmissions, will be new by the mid-1990s. The goal is to have all of our powertrains lead the world in performance and customer satisfaction."
 -0- 8/11/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Vaughn of Ford, 313-322-1300/

CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT

DD -- DE004 -- 1560 08/11/93 10:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 11, 1993

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