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Ford touts 6-speed transmissions

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. plans to make a shift under the hood by 2012, equipping nearly all its vehicles with six-speed automatic transmissions that will improve fuel efficiency. Ford said it will more than double the number of North American vehicles with the transmissions, which boost fuel economy 4 to 6 percent.

The automaker's newest six--speed, the 6F35, will replace the current four--speed in the 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner crossovers. According to a press release, Ford's Van Dyke transmission plant in suburban Detroit will double production of the 6F35 annually.

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