The auto industry's newest proposed alliance would meld Honda Motor Co.'s sedan strength and continued internal-combustion focus with General Motors' pickup and SUV power and commitment to electrification.
The North American-focused tie-up could give both automakers access to vehicles in segments where their portfolios are empty or fading while allotting more capital and resources to electrification, analysts say.
Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Guidehouse Insights, estimates that for each combustion vehicle the companies develop jointly, they could save more than half a billion dollars.
Depending on the scope of the agreement, those savings could form a substantial cash cushion for electric vehicle development. GM has said it will launch 20 EVs globally by 2023.
Steve Carlisle, president of GM North America, said the automakers could share vehicle platforms across four core segments.
"That's a material portion of our plant sales volumes, beyond battery-electric vehicle volume," he told Automotive News. "The opportunity for scale and synergies is significant."
GM and Honda last week said they signed a memorandum of understanding to form the alliance, which could include vehicles with similar underpinnings sold under both brands and collaboration on purchasing, r&d and vehicle platforms.
Co-development of internal-combustion and electric platforms would begin in early 2021, the automakers said. They also aim to collaborate on new technologies, connectivity, propulsion systems, purchasing and manufacturing. Joint purchasing, for example, would target materials, logistics and localization strategies, the companies said.