Ford and GM Exploring Engineering Partnership

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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ford and gm exploring engineering partnership

The Detroit News reports that Ford and GM boffins have spent the last month or so discussing joint-development of engines and powertrains. The usual anonymous sources say GM approached Ford first, and that Dearborn's initial response was "mixed." But the Blue Oval Board of Directors authorized negotiations. The two firms' heads of powertrain development have met at least three times. Neither company has commented on the reports, but analysts point to a jointly-developed six-speed automatic transmission as a sign that I know it sounds crazy, but it just might work. GM is said to be "ahead of Ford on four-cylinder engine development," while the General could learn a thing or two from Ford's Ecoboost program. And then there's the wild card: the plug-in electric – gas hybrid Volt. "If GM is smart [hold the guffaws please], they will proliferate Volt technology," says featured analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics. "Ford has more experience in getting the costs down, and that could really help GM." Or is it that Ford is f ive years away from a PHEV of its own, and will do anything to get on board GM's moonshot? Or it could be as simple as splitting a development bill or two. Either way, file this under "How the Mighty Have Fallen" and block your nose. This collaboration reeks of desperation.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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4 of 23 comments
  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Aug 04, 2008

    "American Leyland, here we come! (insert Katamari Damacy music here)" To be pedantic, American BMC is more accurate (ie the merger between Austin and Morris). Further trainspotter-anorakory would note American Austin begat Jeep.

  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Aug 04, 2008

    In Australia, I would consider this a serious proposition. Ford Australia and GM Holden are equally adept at producing (not to mention conceptually identical) good RWD sedans on a shoe-string - in fact the only thing they struggle with are volumes. Producing a common platform and componentry would introduce some much needed economy of scale.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Aug 05, 2008

    How long before a take over bid by the Chinese!

  • Nudave Nudave on Aug 05, 2008

    Gents, all this boils down to one inescapable fact. America needs, at most, one car company.