Allison Transmission

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Allison Transmission is a manufacturer of automatic transmissions and hybrid systems for commercial vehicle applications. Allison's headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.


On September 14, 1915, James A. Allison founded the Indianapolis Speedway Team Company. With the start of World War I, the company became known as the Allison Experimental Company and focused on products related to the war. The company produced engine and gearing components for aircraft.

With James Allison's death in 1928, the Allison Engineering Company was put up for sale and eventually bought by General Motors in 1929. It became known as the Allison Division of GM in 1934. General Motors would eventually sell Allison in 2007 for $5.6 billion in a deal announced in June of that year.[1]

Allison entered the transmission market in 1946. In 1974, under Robert Schaefer, the company, which became known as Detroit Diesel Allison in the beginning of the decade, introduced their first production V-drive transmissions in 1947. The V-drive transmission freed drivers from shifting which allowed for the eliminating motor men as drivers could collect fares. In 1987, the company adopted it's current name Allison Transmission.

In the late 1990s to early 2000s, Allison Transmission, with former parent General Motors, developed hybrid electric technology which sees use in transit buses. Originally using a series system, a parallel system has become the type of hybrid system marketed. Alexander Dennis, ElDorado National, Gillig, New Flyer Industries ,North American Bus Industries, Nova Bus, and Optare all use the Allison paralell hybrid system in their buses.

Products used in buses


Hybrid systems



Hybrid systems



  1. GM selling Allison Transmission,, retrieved on 2009-10-02