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Allison Transmission Demonstrates How Automatics Reduce Driver Distraction

Allison Transmission

OSAKA, Japan – Recently Allison Transmission Japan held an exhibition at the 2012 Bus Tech Forum in Osaka’s Maishima Arena. Attendees were treated to informational exhibits, product briefs, and demonstrations of Allison-equipped mid- and large-sized buses. Additionally, industry insiders were given the opportunity to drive these vehicles firsthand to better understand the merits of the improved performance and on-the-road operability afforded by Allison fully automatic transmission technology.  Electronic controls, coupled with the Allison’s torque converter and planetary gearing greatly assist in improving vehicle performance.

The annual Bus Tech Forum began in 2010, holding the distinct appeal of being the first event in Japan to allow managers, drivers, maintenance staff and others to fully experience new bus technologies from behind the wheel. In addition to demonstrations of the latest advances in bus models, components, tools and supplies, the Forum’s popularity has grown due to the variety of busses that can be driven by attendees. Participants at this year’s Bus Tech Forum were also very concerned about improvements in bus safety and safe bus operation, and Allison Japan responded to those concerns with proposed contributions toward transporting passengers more safely.

Allison Japan provided test models for the Isuzu ERGA, a practical heavy-duty bus equipped with an Allison T280 transmission, and the Hino Melpha, a highly popular medium-duty shuttle bus equipped with the Allison 2100 Series. Mr. Taiki Kusakabe, of Chinichi Rinkai Bus Participants who drove the Allison-equipped buses noted that “acceleration is so smooth with the automatic that passengers won’t notice any shift shock” and “you have to pay attention to how you use the clutch with a manual, but the automatic makes things very easy because it lets you focus just on driving.” Other comments signaled that bus safety was ever-present on the minds of many.

Allison’s contributions to improving bus safety emphasized ease-of-driving benefits, like reduced driver fatigue and stress, since a distracting manual clutch isn’t necessary.  Bus drivers gave examples about the usefulness of automatic-equipped buses, such as increased safety provided using an AT by concentrating solely on driving in comparison against MT buses, which requires clutch handling and manually shifting gears while try to avoid cars and pedestrians when pulling out of a bus stop.  A bus driver said, “There’s no doubt that an automatic transmission makes it safer to focus on the road. If using a manual when pulling out of a bus stop, in addition to avoiding cars and checking for pedestrians, you have to be mindful of your passengers because of possible lurching. If you are using an automatic, you can concentrate solely on the safety of your surroundings.”

Allison offers advantages in terms of ecology and economy as well. Some bus manufacturers are offering smaller engines in an effort to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. The Allison torque converter multiplies engine torque providing exceptional startability and improved acceleration, with a smaller displacement engine. Gear changes are made without power interruption resulting in the smooth transfer of power to the drive wheels, with maximum efficiency between the engine and transmission. Allison transmissions have now become more popular in Japan than manual options for these ecologically evolved city buses.

About Allison Transmission
Allison Transmission is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully-automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, medium- and heavy-tactical U.S. military vehicles and hybrid-propulsion systems for transit buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (primarily school and transit), motor homes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (primarily energy and mining) and military vehicles (wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 2,800 people. Allison has manufacturing facilities and customization centres located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India, and Hungary, with a global presence serving customers in North America, Europe, Australia, South America, and Africa. Allison also has more than 1,500 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. More information about Allison is available at

This press release may contain forward-looking statements.  All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements.  In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plans," "project," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," “intend,” “forecast,” “could,” "potential," "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar terms or phrases. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks.  Factors which may cause the actual results to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made include, but are not limited to: risks related to our substantial indebtedness; our participation in markets that are competitive; general economic and industry conditions; our ability to prepare for, respond to and successfully achieve our objectives relating to technological and market developments and changing customer needs, the failure of markets outside North America to increase adoption of fully-automatic transmissions; the discovery of defects in our products, resulting in delays in new model launches, recall campaigns and/or increased warranty costs and reduction in future sales or damage to our brand and reputation; the concentration of our net sales in our top five customers and the loss of any one of these; and labour strikes, work stoppages or similar labour disputes, which could significantly disrupt our operations or those of our principal customers.  Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that the expectations will be attained or that any deviation will not be material. All information is as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in expectations.

Press Contacts       
Kenji Higashiyama / Kaz Ito   Yukio Arai
Weber Shandwick Japan    
Allison Transmission Japan Co., Ltd.
+81-3-5427-7304     +81-3-6718-1696   
1-4-28 Mita, Minato-ku      Shinagawa East One Tower 3F
Tokyo, Japan      2-16-1 Konan, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and is a leader in electric hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,900 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit