The Detroit News is reporting this morning that Ford and GM are exploring a possible collaboration to develop new engines and other powertrain technologies according to sources at both companies. Both of the big automakers from Detroit are looking to find ways to reduce research-and-development costs even as they respond to the shift in consumer demand from big trucks and sport utility vehicles toward smaller, more economical cars and crossovers. Details on the not-at-all-confirmed "discussion points" below.
We're told one of the potential discussion points includes giving Ford access to GM's Volt E-Flex technology — if it becomes commercially viable. In return, they'll help GM offset cuts to its product development budget.
GM first approached Ford more than a month ago, two sources familiar with the situation said, telling Ford it was willing to discuss a wide range of possible collaborations, but the overture drew a mixed reaction inside Ford's Dearborn fortress. Some executives apparently felt that previous joint projects had benefited GM more than they had Ford, but others — including Ford's global product development chief, Derrick Kuzak — saw it as an opportunity to leverage some of GM's technology while at the same time reducing Ford's own development costs. The matter went to Ford's board of directors last month, which voted to authorize negotiations with GM.
Jalopnik Snap Judgment: We'd heard these rumors late last week, so yes friends, like ebony and ivory, Ford and GM are probably seeking to collaborate in perfect harmony. However, we've got to remember these kind of discussions go on all the time. This means absolutely nothing unless the two companies actually agree to something. Still, it's an interesting development and it may even make sense — Ford getting new plug-in hybrid technology and new engine technology in exchange for something GM needs a great deal of — cash. We'll be watching this closely.
[via Detroit News]