Beth, I agree that it seems strange. I don't know much about antitrust law and can't explain why such collusion is allowed in this case, but there's definitely precedent for it. GM and Ford did it a decade ago and then again about four years ago. Other auto companies, such as Audi, BMW and Toyota, use external suppliers.
Beth, yes, these two are competitors. Since CAFE applies to everyone, and since the time scale is short, it makes sense. They don't do it often.
What is interesting is that I was just talking about this type of thing with my younger son. My car is 10 years old and has a four speed. My wife just bought a car with a six speed. Both have the auto-stick feature. I was making him aware that the first automatic transmissions had two speeds. That is the genesis of PRNDL. L was for low. The new car has PRNDS. The S is for second. Quite a lot of progress. Of course, we are getting close to the continuously variable transmission. This is doable, but very expensive.
At first blush, it seems strange to me that rivals Ford and GM would team up on a development effort that has such a major impact on each of their futures. Yet I suppose, given the seriousness of the new fuel economy standards, automotive OEMs are better served pooling their collective brain power and development resources to come up with some core foundational technology solution to the challenge in a much shorter time frame. Then they can refine/extend/improve the technology to differentiate their individual product lines when and where it makes sense.
Wal-Mart will hold its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8, at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The event will be a repeat effort by the world’s biggest seller of consumer goods to increase the amount of US-made products it sells in Wal-Mart stores, in Sam’s Club members-only wholesale outlets, and on walmart.com.
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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