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Allison's Brand Drives Its Success

The company is uniquely positioned to help fleets reach fuel economy and labor efficiency goals.

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Allison Transmission Holdings (ALSN) is the world’s leading manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for commercial vehicles. For much of its 100-year existence, Allison was part of General Motors, but it was purchased in 2007 by private equity investor The Carlyle Group, which subsequently took it public in 2012. Because of its long history of providing reliable transmissions for demanding commercial and military applications, the Allison brand maintains a premium cachet. In marketing materials, commercial vehicle makers frequently display the Allison Transmission name prominently along with the engine manufacturer.

Allison products are distinguished from traditional manual and automated manual transmissions, or AMTs, in that they have a fluid coupling called a torque converter, which enables smoother shifting and allows the powertrain to continuously power the vehicle, without momentary gaps, throughout the gear range. Automatic transmissions have grown more efficient and reliable in recent decades, but most research and development outside of Allison has focused on light passenger vehicles.

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Scott Pope does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.