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.
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