Automakers and Partnerships
You may be surprised to learn that the sharing of technology between automakers is not uncommon. From mergers and acquisitions and even joint ventures, we are seeing more and more of this. This week we take a brief look at the pitfalls and positives of these partnerships.
-Partnership without equality-
In decades past the ‘Big Three’ automakers in Detroit partnered with smaller automakers. This resulted in the bigger brands getting into the small car market by re-badging. Most of the time these smaller companies were foreign brands. Examples would be Chrysler/AMC, Ford/Mazda, Chrysler/Mitsubishi, and Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche. For many years the was a lack of equality regarding shared technology between companies. But as these smaller companies gained more market share they came to rely less on these partnerships. Even in some cases where one company bought another (Daimler-Chrysler, for example), there was still an unequal sharing of technology. Other partnerships (Ford-Jaguar for example) led to one brand being ‘watered down’ and losing its identity.
-Technology and convenience-
In today’s market, it’s not just other car companies being partnered with. App makers and program companies are in high demand. With Uber and Lyft changing the landscape of travel it makes perfect sense for automakers to seek them out. As the market has demanded a high level of digital sophistication it is easier to have a capital partnership. This way both companies share what is needed to make a successful end product. Cost can be shared and alleviates massive strains on internal R&D budgets. Furthermore, this helps keep the newest technology being created at an expert level.
-Benefits for consumers-
Why should you care about these partnerships? Simply put it saves you money. Shared technology means shared costs and lower prices. Equality between partners makes for a stable working relationship. Couple this with options/technology that you want in your new car and it’s a win-win. Some companies, like Honda, are safeguarding their technology while still looking for partners to work with. If this serves them well in the future time can only tell. At Chrysler, we work with our partners on an equal level and bring the best technology we can to you.