American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has announced it will supply power transfer units (PTUs) for Ford Motor Co. crossover vehicles with all-wheel drive (AWD) starting with the 2019 Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus. The new contract expands AAM and Ford’s relationship while supporting global growth in the popular crossover segment.
“Sales of crossover vehicles continue to significantly grow in markets around the globe,” said David Dauch, AAM chairman and CEO. “Crossover buyers want a vehicle that is fuel efficient and safe. AAM’s PTU helps deliver power while increasing efficiency.”
The PTU is the heart of the vehicles’ Intelligent AWD, which uses sensors to constantly monitor traction and assist the driver through difficult weather and challenging road conditions. It balances torque between the front and rear wheels to enhance handling and maximizes traction before wheelslip can even occur.
Located on a vehicle’s transmission, the PTU directs power to the RDM via the driveshaft when torque is needed. When only front wheel drive is required, AAM’s PTU disconnects and stops spinning the driveshaft no longer sending power to the RDM. Less spinning helps increase efficiency and reduces emissions while still providing enhanced safety when needed.
The PTU is part of AAM’s family of EcoTrac Disconnecting AWD solutions, which include disconnecting PTUs, multi-piece driveshafts, rear drive modules with electronic control units and torque transfer devices.
AAM introduced the industry’s first disconnecting AWD system in late 2013. Since then AAM has supplied more than 600,000 disconnecting AWD units that help make vehicles safer, smart and more efficient.
AAM will manufacture EcoTrac in several facilities around the globe including Three Rivers, Michigan; Guanajuato, Mexico; Changshu, China and Świdnica, Poland. By the end of 2020, EcoTrac will represent about $800 million of annual revenue for AAM in global markets.