GM Announces Vehicle Platform, R&D Partnership with Honda

Detroit’s General Motors Co. has partnered with a global automotive company to create shared vehicle platforms for electrified and internal combustion propulsion systems.
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GM's EV platform
GM and Honda have formed an alliance to create shared vehicle platforms. Pictured is GM’s EV platform, which the companies will be using. // File photo

Detroit’s General Motors Co. has partnered with a global automotive company to create shared vehicle platforms for electrified and internal combustion propulsion systems.

GM and Japan’s Honda Motor Co. have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding following preliminary discussions toward establishing a North American automotive alliance.

The scope of the alliance includes a range of vehicles to be sold under each company’s brands as well as cooperation in purchasing, research and development, and connected services.

Under the proposed agreement, the companies would collaborate on segments in North America, intending to share common vehicle platforms including electrified and internal combustion propulsion systems that align with the platforms. Co-development planning discussions will begin immediately, with engineering work beginning in early 2021.

“This alliance will help both companies accelerate investment in future mobility innovation by freeing up additional resources,” says Mark Reuss, president of GM. “Given our strong track record of collaboration, the companies would realize significant synergies in the development of today’s vehicle portfolio.”

The companies agreed in April to jointly develop two all-new electric vehicles for Honda based on GM’s electric vehicle platform powered by Ultium batteries. The relationship between the two companies began more than two decades ago and includes recent collaboration on fuel cells, batteries, and the Cruise Origin shared autonomous vehicle.

“Through this new alliance with GM, we can achieve substantial cost efficiencies in North America that will enable us to invest in future mobility technology while maintaining our own distinct and competitive product offerings,” says Seiji Kuraishi, executive vice president of Honda.

“Combining the strengths of each company, and by carefully determining what we will do on our own and what we will do in collaboration, we will strive to build a win-win relationship to create new value for our customers. In this way, Honda will continue making steady progress in solidifying our existing business by realizing strong products, strong manufacturing capability, and a strong business structure.”

The alliance is expected to leverage best technologies and generate cost efficiencies from shared vehicle platforms and propulsion systems, joint purchasing, potential manufacturing efficiencies, and other collaboration efforts. This would enable both companies to make greater investments in advanced technology.

The companies also plan to share research and development and engineering costs for select future co-developed vehicle and propulsion platforms. This is expected to free up capital. They also say they plan to collaborate in joint purchasing activities focused on joint sourcing of materials, logistics, and localization strategies.

Collaboration on research and development would focus on electrical architecture, advanced driver assist systems, infotainment, connectivity, and vehicle-to-everything communication.

In April, the companies announced that Honda will incorporate GM’s OnStar safety, security, and connected services into the two all-new electric vehicles for Honda based on GM’s global electric vehicle platform, integrating them with HondaLink. GM and Honda plan to explore further co-development opportunities for future connected services.

All facets of the alliance will be governed by a joint committee comprised of senior executives from both companies.

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