A parts shortage from an Indian supplier has affected both General Motors and Ford in the US because both manufacturers use the same six-speed gear box.

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The transmission sharing was a money saving move made by both companies who, instead of developing their own fuel saving technology, decided to share the costs of US$720 million in using some of the same suppliers.

New Delhi's Rico Auto Industries labour shortages caused a shortage of components of transmission parts closing Ford's Oakville and Ontario manufacturing plants. GM's delta Township plant is looking at closing next week.

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Oakville manufacture the Ford Edge and Flex as well as the Lincoln MKX and MKT. Delta build the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave as well as being retooled for the Chevrolet Traverse.

All these cars use the six-speed automatic transmission, both manufacturers assemble the transmission at separate plants in Detroit.

The shortage does not affect Ford or Holden vehicles sold with six-speed transmissions in Australia.