Automakers turn rivals into frenemies to share cost of brand new technology

Daimler’s Mercedes at This specific point uses a four-cylinder engine produced by Nissan for vehicles of which assembles at its own factory in Vance, Alabama. Nissan’s luxury line Infiniti partnered with Mercedes on a brand new assembly plant in Aguas Caliente, Mexico. Together, the companies came up with the underlying “architecture” used for both the brand new Smart fortwo along with also Renault Twizy microcars.

“I can tell you the synergies we developed here are significant along with also can go further,” said Ghosn, with Zetsche adding of which he sees plenty of “blank spaces” left for the partners to explore.

Even modest, short-term deals can yield substantial savings. The development of a transmission, especially today’s most fuel-efficient versions, can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Pooling resources, GM along with also Ford got two brand new ones for little more than they separately might have paid for 1 automatic gearbox.

Not every alliance works out as planned, of course. A decade ago, GM, BMW along with also what was then Chrysler partnered on the development of a brand new hybrid drivetrain. The partnership was plagued with problems along with also the final product fell short of expectations. The carmakers quickly abandoned the technology.

In 2005, meanwhile, GM had to shell out $2.5 billion to exit coming from an ill-fated partnership with Fiat. Ironically, of which helped provide the financial foundation the Italian company needed for of which to acquire Chrysler when of which was in bankruptcy a few years later.

One of the challenges, industry experts stress, can be to ensure there’s a common vision for what the partners intend to do. however another challenge can be “generating sure the corporate cultures can get along,” said David Cole, director-emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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