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einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/3/20 9:22 a.m.

I read this morning that Honda and General Motors are forming a North American 'alliance', agreeing to cooperate on things like sharing vehicle platforms, propulsion systems, research & development, and purchasing.  Why in the world would Honda do this?  More accurately, why with GM?

I have worked for a capital equipment supplier for many, many years now, and have worked with both of these entities on various programs over those years.  To generalize (yes, a dangerous thing to do), projects with Honda have always been very successful for both us as the supplier and them as the customer, as cooperation (both on the upfront purchasing side as well as the project execution side), working towards a common set of goals, and consistency with the customer side project team makeup being hallmarks of every project that I have had the fortune of being attached to. 

I cannot say any of the same for past GM projects, where there always was a very different (and negative) dynamic in the relationship right from day 1 (from purchasing through execution and all steps in between), plus a constantly changing cast of characters to deal with on the project execution side as people moved into and out of various positions / assignments.  

I understand the need / allure of sharing developmental costs between automotive companies ... look at the potential benefit to Mazda of doing so with Toyota, for example.  But, I think those two companies share some level of "DNA" in how they execute programs.  I cannot think of commonality in this regard between Honda and GM from my personal direct experience.

What am I missing here?

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/3/20 9:24 a.m.

Again? Great, More Acura SLX (SUX) And Honda Passports. Lovely. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/3/20 9:25 a.m.

I'm in for an LS powered accord.. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/3/20 9:28 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I'm in for an LS powered accord.. 

Unfortunately what we'll get will be a Honda Trax. 

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
9/3/20 9:34 a.m.

More Saturn Vues with Honda engine but unreliable Honda transmission.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/3/20 9:36 a.m.

My question is why would Honda do that? GM ruins everything it touches.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/3/20 9:42 a.m.

?

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/3/20 10:12 a.m.

GM did a joint venture with Toyota 30+ years ago when the companies were even more different. There's no reason to think they can't pull off something similar with Honda these days.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
9/3/20 10:27 a.m.
93EXCivic said:

My question is why would Honda do that? GM ruins everything it touches.

How so?

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/3/20 10:31 a.m.

In case anyone is interested in the full text of the press release, you can read it over here.

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/3/20 10:37 a.m.

Another forum member (sorry, I cannot recall who that was) who has ties with or works for Honda noted not long ago that things were changing there, but would not elaborate.  Call out to that fellow, is this what was being referred to back then?

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/3/20 10:38 a.m.

GM is pushing hard into BEVs and battery production. Honda has pretty much nothing in that regard other than the sweet little E citycar that doesn't come to North America, and the Hybrid/PHEV/Fuel cell Clarity which seems to be a bit of a compliance car, oddball.

I'd imagine that Honda brings money to the table and they get access to GM's EV stuff. GM probably gets cash and maybe some fuel cell tech out of the deal in case Hydrogen ever becomes a thing in the consumer market.

Raze (Forum Supporter)
Raze (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/3/20 10:42 a.m.

Portfolios, markets, technology differences, scale in purchasing.  There was speculation about this when the electric agreement was made back in April.  Speculation on my part but to manage risk and stabilize company from shocks in a very international market, you need breadth and strength across solid markets.  I'd venture a guess this was part of why GM got out of unprofitable markets (yeah yeah I've heard all the Opel/Vauxhall as soon as they were out from GM they were profitable but there is info it's been gutted and just produce cars with no real future plan so it may be short term to squeeze the lemon).  Honda doesn't have much access to China due to history nor a big share of the very profitable Truck/SUV segment in NA, Honda has more investement in Hydrogen than battery, GM doesn't have much access to Japan due to regulation, and some automation capabilities and has limited Hydrogen and more battery capability.  Both companies share a lot of the automated manufacturing DNA due to some of the automation companies GM helped create in Japan back in the 80s that are more or less industry standard, and both try to push industry standards as a way of controlling cost.  Connecting the dots it seems logical from a business perspective, doesn't mean they've solve the culture differences smiley.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/3/20 11:27 a.m.
gearheadmb said:
93EXCivic said:

My question is why would Honda do that? GM ruins everything it touches.

How so?

See Saab, Holden, Pontiac, etc.

Dieselboss15
Dieselboss15 Reader
9/3/20 12:06 p.m.

i am hoping they put an LS in a oddessy. it would be momkhana all over again

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
9/3/20 1:15 p.m.

IMO this dilutes the Honda brand. Being an independent company they've always done things their own way good or bad and it's always separated them from the vehicles designed by committees like the Big 3. I can only imagine how bad GM will screw up future Honda products. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/3/20 1:29 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

This isn't the first time Honda has done this. Back in the late 90's they partnered with GM/Isuzu to get an SUV. 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
9/3/20 1:35 p.m.

In B4 "Bring back Geo!"

bluebarchetta
bluebarchetta Reader
9/3/20 1:39 p.m.

What does Honda do best?  Mostly small vehicles.  Cars and motorcycles, plus the Odyssey.

What does GM do best?  Mostly big vehicles.  Trucks and muscle (Corvette and Camaro).

GM's best Civic was the Saturn SL - nice try, but failure.  Honda's best Corvette was the NSX.  So close, no cigar.

They've both built good electric and semi-electric vehicles, but can't seem to catch Toyota and Tesla in the marketplace, which is mainly a problem of perception, not product.

If you ask me "what are the two best engines of the past 30 years?" I'll reply "Honda 3.5 V6 and GM LS V8," though both were semi-ruined by "displacement on demand."

With their combined strength, they could end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy!!!

dps214
dps214 HalfDork
9/3/20 1:50 p.m.

My guess would be that gm has a reasonably well established ev platform, where Honda's first attempt at it flopped and was cancelled in under a year, and for once they figured out that the only way not to be a decade late to the market is to borrow the tech from someone else.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
9/3/20 1:56 p.m.
bluebarchetta said:

GM's best Civic was the Saturn SL - nice try, but failure. 

As much as the Civic is a better car, I don't know that you can call the SL a failure.  Its sales numbers in the mid 90s were very comparable to the Civic.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/3/20 2:53 p.m.

I want to see GM create mass confusion by reviving the Cavalier name for something that shares platforms with the Civic.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
9/3/20 3:06 p.m.
bobzilla said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

This isn't the first time Honda has done this. Back in the late 90's they partnered with GM/Isuzu to get an SUV. 

Yea and those weren't all that awesome. 

Honda also supplied engines to a Saturn CUV that was a turd. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/3/20 3:09 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

I want to see GM create mass confusion by reviving the Cavalier name for something that shares platforms with the Civic.

Words of caution to Trump: Toyota Cavalier

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/3/20 3:13 p.m.
bluebarchetta said:

 Honda's best Corvette was the NSX.  So close, no cigar.

Which is why 90s Corvettes are worth so much more then 90s NSXs... cheeky

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