GM, Honda partnering in North America; Toyota, Mazda expanding Alabama plant size

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October 15, 2020

General Motors (GM) and Honda plan to co-develop cars and trucks in North America, sharing design and engineering costs of new vehicles and potentially building Hondas in Chevy plants and vice versa.

The partnership agreement expands a deal reached in April for Honda to sell two electric vehicles (EVs) designed and built by GM. The automakers have collaborated in the past on hydrogen fuel cells and autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies, but the scope of the new agreement is far more encompassing.

In some vehicle segments, the automakers will share platforms – the underlying architecture that underpins a Honda Accord sedan and a CR-V crossover. Co-development talks have already begun with engineering sharing set to start in early 2021.

“This alliance will help both companies accelerate investment in future mobility innovation by freeing up additional resources. Given our strong track record of collaboration, the companies would realize significant synergies in the development of today’s vehicle portfolio,” says GM President Mark Reuss.

Seiji Kuraishi, executive vice president of Honda Motor Co., says the GM deal should substantially lower costs in North America, freeing up cash to invest in EVs, AVs, and other future vehicles.

“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,” Kuraishi says.

The companies expect cost savings to come from shared vehicle platforms and propulsion systems, joint purchasing, potential manufacturing efficiencies, and other collaboration efforts. https://www.gm.com; https://www.honda.com

Mazda, Toyota expand Alabama JV

August 2020 aerial photo of the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) joint venture near Birmingham, Alabama.
Photo courtesy of Toyota

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, (MTM), a joint venture (JV) between the two automakers, is adding more equipment and space, bringing the companies’ initial $1.6 billion investment to $2.3 billion. The automakers expect to hire about 4,000 people.

The investment accommodates production-line enhancements to improve manufacturing processes supporting the Mazda vehicle and design changes to the yet to be announced Toyota SUV, with both being produced at the plant.

The facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 300,000 vehicles per year, split evenly between Toyota and Mazda. MTM has hired approximately 600 employees to date and plans to resume accepting applications for production positions later in 2020 for a 2021 production start. https://www.mazda.com; https://www.toyota.com