It's common knowledge that most, if not all, car manufacturers buy up competitors cars in order to compare them to their own. GM, apparently, has decided to go down the Frankenstein path, by tearing cars apart piece by piece in its lab.
It has been heartening to see the sheer amount of progress GM has made over the past few years with its products. Hell, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala even impressed us, jaded and disgruntled as we are. A lot of that progress, though, is down to the Teardown Area of GM's Competitive Benchmarking Team, according to a report in Ars Technica:
A Mercedes sport utility vehicle stripped of its body panels and chassis sat on a platform like a cadaver on an autopsy table, components of its exhaust system arranged neatly on a cart for examination.
Every little individual part is then 3D-scanned into a computer, where they can than be virtually put together again and run through a series of simulations. GM isn't "copying" the designs of its competitors, per se, but using them as a reference to be compared to its own cars.
In one sense it's not surprising that GM is going the distance to improve its offerings, and competitive benchmarking has been around as long as cars themselves have. What's more fascinating, though, is to see the degree to which companies these days are employing technology to spy on each other just that little bit more.
There's a saying that "you don't want to see how your sausage gets made," but in the case of cars, it's awesome to see every little bit. Even if "seeing" is ripping apart the bodies of your enemies to see what makes them tick.
Photo via Andrea_44