DETROIT (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will introduce a more fuel-efficient, six-speed transmission system for all of its small cars in North America starting in 2010, as the automaker seeks to lift the fuel economy of its vehicles.
Ford said small cars in North America will be equipped with its dual-clutch PowerShift six-speed transmission by 2010, while 100 percent of its transmissions will be advanced six-speed gearboxes by 2013.
The company said the new transmission system offers better fuel economy than current automatic transmissions, most of which are five-speed. The PowerShift transmission can help cut fuel consumption by up to 9 percent, the company said.
"PowerShift is more efficient, it saves weight, is more durable, more efficient and the unit is sealed for life, requiring no regular maintenance," said Piero Aversa, manager of Ford Automatic Transmission Engineering, in a statement.
Six-speed transmissions have helped lift the fuel economy of cars such as the 2010 Ford Fusion, the Ford Flex and the Ford Escape, the company said.
Ford said the new transmissions are part of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its fleet by 30 percent by 2020.
Shares of Ford fell 8 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $2.05 in midday trading.