GM-Honda Alliance? Quite Possibly – Both Automakers Just Signed an MoU

Maybe a Civic-based Chevrolet Cruze revival isn’t an insane idea after all. On Thursday morning, General Motors and Honda announced the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding to pave the way for a North American alliance.

Platform and powertrain sharing in several segments would be part of this strategic tie-up, the automakers claim, leading one to wonder what the future holds for the increasingly cosy longtime rivals. 

“Under the proposed alliance, Honda and GM would collaborate on a variety of segments in North America, intending to share common vehicle platforms, including both electrified and internal combustion propulsion systems that align with the vehicle platforms,” the automakers said in a release. “Co-development planning discussions will begin immediately, with engineering work beginning in early 2021.”

A range of co-developed vehicles would be sold under both company’s core brands, the automakers said.

Much like Ford and Volkswagen, strategic alliances allow for a sharing of strengths and a reduction in R&D costs, but this proposed partnership strikes close to home. It’s reminiscent of the GM-Toyota joint venture of the 1980s and ’90s.

2018 Honda Accord Ohio assembly plant - Image: Honda

Both GM and Honda claim that the money freed up through the marriage would be put towards pricey but potentially lucrative mobility projects.

The two automakers have grown increasingly friendly in the recent past. Honda invested big to become part of the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle project, and in April the two signed a pact to co-develop electric vehicles using GM’s Ultium battery and new EV architecture. That agreement will see two Honda vehicles launched with GM underpinnings — and even OnStar.

“Combining the strengths of each company, and by carefully determining what we will do on our own and what we will do in collaboration, we will strive to build a win-win relationship to create new value for our customers,” said Honda’s executive vice-president, Seiji Kuraishi.

For the vehicles expected to be birthed by the future alliance, R&D and development costs would be shared between the two companies. Joint purchasing would realize further savings, GM and Honda claim, along with “potential manufacturing efficiencies.”

[Images: General Motors, Honda]

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