This is both an interesting and a strange article the The Nikkei [sub] has on GM. First, the interesting part.
While commenting on the fact that GM will jointly develop carbon fiber automobile components with Tokyo-based Teijin, The Nikkei detects a “radical shift in the U.S. auto giant’s business strategy.” The paper comments that GM was once known for its insistence on developing its own technologies. Which, says The Nikkei, played a part in the company’s downfall, because it drove up costs.
“But since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, GM has shown a willingness to work with companies across industries to develop green technologies.
GM agreed with South Korea’s LG Group in August to jointly develop electric vehicles, expanding on previous agreements to procure batteries and work together on electrical systems.
In September, the U.S. automaker signed another electric-vehicle cooperation agreement, this time with China’s SAIC Motor Corp.
Furthermore, GM has a tie-up accord in battery technology with U.S. start-up A123 Systems Inc.”
So far, so good. Ok, so we get it that GM is getting over the “not invented here” thing and reaches out to other partners. This has been going for a while in the whole industry, and is picking up pace. The costs and challenges are simply too great to shoulder alone, the payback too far out.
What is slightly odd is The Nikkei’s conclusion:
“As it moves to tap the strengths of partners around the world, GM may become a major rival of Japanese automakers even in the field of green vehicles.”
Does that mean that Japan’s leading business daily is giving GM no green-cred for past and current work? Does The Nikkei think that Japanese makers hold an exclusive on green cars?