New Venture Gear

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New Venture Gear
IndustryVehicle Transmissions
    • New Process Rawhide Company
    • Warner Gear Company
Founded1990; 33 years ago (1990)
DefunctAugust 20, 2012 (2012-08-20)
SuccessorMagna Powertrain
ParentMagna Powertrain

New Venture Gear was an automobile and light truck transmission company that was started in 1990 as the first ever joint venture between any of the Big Three US automakers. General Motors and Chrysler Corporation were the participants. Operation and management of Chrysler's New Process Gear Syracuse, New York, plant and GM's underutilized Muncie, Indiana, Hydramatic transmission plant were shifted to New Venture Gear Company.[1]


Founding plant histories[edit]

Hydramatic Muncie[edit]

In 1902, Thomas W. Warner formed the Warner Gear Company in Muncie, Indiana, to manufacture automobile parts, steering, and transmission gears. In 1919, General Motors purchased the T.W. Warner Company, including its land and buildings. In 1920 GM reopened the plant under the name Muncie Products to manufacture transmissions and steering gear for their Oakland, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and GMC-Truck divisions. In 1932 GM closed the Muncie Products plant and consolidated operations to other divisions in response to the failing economy.

The Chevrolet division re-opened the plant in 1935 to build car and truck transmissions. World War II halted non military vehicle production and the plant was converted to serve the US military demand until the war ended. The 1950s and 60s saw expansion and growth. In the 1970s and 80s GM swapped the plant to many different GM divisions ending with Detroit Diesel Allison in 1984 and GM Hydramatic in 1986.[2]

New Process Gear[edit]

In 1888, Thomas W. Meachem founded the New Process Rawhide Company in Baldwinsville, New York. In the late 1890s New Process Rawhide moved operations to Syracuse after a fire. In 1913 Thomas W. Meachem reorganized New Process Rawhide with one of his partners, Artemus Vosburgh. The company was renamed New Process Gear to reflect the new corporate direction. In 1954, after a succession of owners including Willys-Overland,[3] New Process Gear became a subsidiary of Chrysler Corporation.[4]

New Venture Gear[edit]

In 1990, the Hydramatic Muncie plant owned by GM and New Process Gear owned by Chrysler formed a joint GM–Chrysler venture called New Venture Gear.[5]

GM exit[edit]

In February 2002, General Motors sold its minority 36% stake in the New Venture Gear company to DaimlerChrysler and the Muncie Transmission plant reverted to GM control.[6] GM changed the plant name to "Manual Transmissions Of Muncie". The T.W. Warner Muncie plant closed in mid-2006 after a century of operation and the property was turned over to Delaware County Indiana. The GM Muncie Transmission plant was demolished soon after turnover to the county.[7] The Syracuse New Process remained with New Venture Gear.

In 2004, Magna International purchased 80% of New Venture Gear from DaimlerChrysler and put it under Magna Drivetrain.[8] Magna purchased the remaining 20% interest in 2007.[9] The New Process gear plant remained property of DaimlerChrysler. Chrysler then leased the facilities to Magna.[10] This lease arrangement made it difficult to compete with the European manufacturing operation Magna directly purchased located in Roitzsch Germany.[11] A downturn in Jeep demand combined with DaimlerChrysler not replacing the Dodge Neon sharply curtailed demand for the Syracuse New Process Gear plant production. In 2009 design and engineering services were moved to Troy, Michigan and Magna International announced its intent to close the Syracuse plant.[12] The Syracuse New Process Gear plant planned closure in November 2011 was pushed out till first quarter of 2012.[13]

After 124 years in operation, on Thursday, August 24, 2012, New Process Gear ended production and closed their doors for the last time.[14][15]


Inside of a 231 New Process Gear transfer case

The Muncie, Indiana, plant under New Venture Gear produced the NV4500, NV3500, and NV3550 light truck transmissions.

Transfer cases[edit]

The Syracuse New Process Gear plant produced transfer cases for all of the "Big Three" Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. The NV 247 all-wheel drive transfer case, sold by Chrysler's Jeep division as the "Quadra-Trac II", the manual transaxle for the Dodge Neon and PT Cruiser (T-350), and manual transaxles for European export Chrysler minivans (T-650 & 750) were the bulk of their last years of production.

Model nomenclature[edit]

The model numbers of the transfer case consists of the manufacturer, the number of speeds/gears, the strength (1-7), and a number from 1-9 describing the type. The following table goes into more details about the format:[16]

Manufacturer Number of speeds/gears Strength Type
NP = New Process Gear
NV = New Venture Gear
1 = One speed (high range)
2 = Two speed (high and low range)
1 (low) to 7 (high) 1 = Part-time 4WD
2 = Full-time 4WD
3 = Electronic shift
4 = Not used
5 = Torsen-type differential
6 = Computer-controlled multi-plate wet clutch
7 = GeroDisc
8 = Not used
9 = Viscous coupling


Model Full-Time High High Lock Low range 2WD Differential
119 Yes No No No Yes (Viscous)
125 Yes No No No Yes (Open)
128 Yes No No Yes Yes (Open)
129 Yes No No Yes Yes (Viscous)
147 Yes No No No (GeroDisc)
149 Yes No No No Yes (Viscous)
203 Yes Yes 2.01:1 No Yes (Open)
205 No Yes 1.96:1 Yes No (Locked)
207 No Yes 2.61:1 Yes No (Locked)
208 No Yes 2.61:1 Yes No (Locked)
219 Yes Yes Yes No Yes (Viscous)
228 Yes No Yes Yes Yes (Open)
229 Yes No Yes Yes Yes (Viscous)
231 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes No (Locked)
233 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes
236[17] Yes Yes 2.72:1 Yes
241 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes No (Locked)
241OR No Yes 4.0:1 Yes No (Locked)
242 Yes Yes 2.72:1 Yes Yes (Open)
243 Yes No Yes
244 Yes Yes 2.72:1 No Yes (Open)
245 Yes No 2.72:1 No Yes (Clutch)
246 Yes Yes 2.72:1 Yes
247 Yes No 2.72:1 No No (GeroDisc)
249 Yes No (Pre 96), Yes (96+) 2.72:1 No Yes (Viscous)
261 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes No (Locked)
263 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes
271 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes No (Locked)
273 No Yes 2.72:1 Yes No (Locked)


  1. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Joint Venture Planned By G.M. and Chrysler - New York Times". February 7, 1990. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  2. ^ "Muncie Chevrolet Plant Architectural Drawings, 1918–1920" (PDF). Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "MoparWiki". Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Central New York. "Last day for 300 New Process Gear workers; here are three who've moved on". Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  5. ^ "All-Wheel Drive Revolution? New Venture Gear leads a shift in AWD technology". Ward's AutoWorld. Archived from the original on December 26, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2006.
  6. ^ "GM Drops Its Stake in New Venture Gear". Ward's AutoWorld. Archived from the original on January 20, 2005. Retrieved January 3, 2006.
  7. ^ "New Process Gear and New Venture Gear History". September 29, 2004. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "History of Magna International Inc". Magna International. Archived from the original on November 11, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  9. ^ "Magna Completes Acquisition of New Venture Gear" (PDF). New Venture Gear. September 29, 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 1, 2007.
  10. ^ "New Process Gear, Inc. | Company Profile from Hoover's". Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  11. ^ "Magna Completes Purchase of New Venture Gear". December 22, 2003. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  12. ^ Hannagan, Charley (February 5, 2009). "New Process Gear plans exit strategy". Archived from the original on March 11, 2009.
  13. ^ Dennis Nett / The Post-Standard. "New Process Gear in DeWitt plans to remain open into next year". Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  14. ^ Central New York. "New Process Gear stops production this week after 124 years". Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  15. ^ Hannagan, Charley (August 20, 2012). "New Process Gear stops production this week after 124 years". The Post-Standard. Advance Media New York. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  16. ^ "SAE TopTec: Innovations in Four Wheel Drive/All Wheel Drive Systems". by Dr. Brad DeLong. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  17. ^ "NP236 Transfer Case". Midwest Transmission Zumbrota MN. 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2017.

External links[edit]