General Motors thinks it is setting a precedent for the industry by changing the name of the “GM Powertrain” division to “GM Global Propulsion Systems.” This new name is meant to include the diverse range of engines, electric motors, batteries, and transmission technologies that are part of GM’s global engineering effort.
This division was called GM Powertrain for 24 years, and was also previously called “Divisional Engine and Transmission Consolidation” and “Divisional Engines and Transmission.” But GM says that, with almost half of its current powertrain engineering workforce involved with alternative or electrified systems, a name change was in order. The GM Global Propulsion Systems division includes around 8,600 employees who are involved with the design, development, and engineering processes for all “propulsion related products.”
This encompasses everything from gas and diesel engines, to battery systems, transmissions, and hydrogen fuel cells. GM has made significant investments in electrification technology recently, and plans to introduce an affordable electric car, the Bolt, later this year with a claimed driving range of 200 miles on a single charge. The company also claims to be working on 9- and 10-speed transmissions, and launched a new global EcoTec engine family in 2014.
“The diversity of our propulsion systems requires a name that reflects what we are already working on and delivering to our customers,” said vice president of GM Global Propulsion Systems Dan Nicholson, in a statement. “I believe this will establish an industry trend.”
We wouldn’t be surprised to see other automakers follow suit, as the entire industry looks to solidify its commitment to alternative fuel technologies. Stay tuned to see which company might be next to rename its powertrain division.