Both companies vow to share R&D, vehicle platforms and electric technology.
General Motors and Honda are two of the biggest torchbearers of battery technology in the global automotive markets. Today the two automotive giants have signed a non-bonding memorandum of understanding. This takes their already long and mutually beneficial partnership to the next level. According to the new deal, the two companies will now share a lot more than developing fuel-cell technology.
The intention of the new partnership is to share vehicle platforms, to jointly spearhead research and development into new technology, connected services, and vehicles along with collaborating on purchasing as well. Both companies intend to “accelerate innovation and more effectively deploy resources in advanced and next-generation technologies” via this partnership.
Both companies will also be looking to drive costs down along with developing new platforms and vehicles. That could be one of the primary reasons to collaborate on purchasing, as ordering large numbers of common parts would certainly achieve that goal. Plus, sharing components and R&D would also help both players keep their costs in check.
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The biggest advantage of the partnership could well be the decision to share platforms. Both companies specialize in very specific segments that coincidentally are on opposite sides of the size spectrum. Where GM specializes in large trucks and full-size SUVs, Honda has a firm grasp of the compact to mid-size segments. Add to that the decision to develop electric mobility tech (like the Ultium battery platform) and advanced driver assistance systems together and we could be looking at a rather exciting future. Having said that, don’t expect anything to arrive within the next two or three years that is new from the ground up.
Both companies could even look to Toyota’s partnership with Suzuki in the Southeast Asia market to reduce turnaround times on its products. Both Toyota and Suzuki share platforms and body styles to fill gaps in their respective lineups. So in essence, could we see a Chevrolet based on a Civic platform? Or maybe a full-size Honda SUV? Stranger things have happened.