Honda, General Motors to Form Strategic Alliance in North America

  • General Motors and Honda have announced plans for a strategic alliance in North America.
  • The alliance, which is still in the non-binding “memorandum of understanding” stage, will see the two companies jointly develop vehicle platforms and both electric and internal-combustion powertrains.
  • The announcement of the plan to form an alliance builds on an already established relationship between the two automakers that goes back two decades. In April they announced that they would jointly develop GM’s Ultium batteries.

    General Motors and Honda are going to be sharing more than just GM’s Ultium batteries going forward, as the two automakers announced this morning that they intend to form a strategic alliance in North America. Under the terms of the alliance, the two automakers will jointly develop future vehicle platforms and the electric and internal-combustion powertrains to go with them, with the intent to cut costs and invest more heavily in future technologies.

    This announcement builds on a long-standing relationship between GM and Honda. Most recently, they announced plans to jointly develop GM’s Ultium batteries and said Honda will incorporate GM’s OnStar into two new EVs that will be on sale in the U.S. by 2024. At that announcement, in April 2020, Honda emphasized that its products will retain their own character, saying it that “The exteriors and interiors of the new EVs will be exclusively designed by Honda . . . for Honda customers” and that the platform will be engineered “to support Honda’s driving character.”

    Currently, the alliance is still in the planning stage: Honda and GM have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding after discussing the alliance.

    In a press release, the automakers said that they see an alliance as the best way to save money on developing future platforms and products. “This alliance will help both companies accelerate investment in future mobility innovation by freeing up additional resources,” Mark Reuss, president of General Motors, said in the release. “Given our strong track record of collaboration, the companies would realize significant synergies in the development of today’s vehicle portfolio.”

    Beyond jointly developing propulsion systems and vehicle platforms, the alliance will also include joint purchasing and collaborations on R&D for advanced driver assist systems, infotainment, and connectivity.

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