Following the saying: “two minds are better than one”, Toyota and General Motors, once feared adversaries, now make a truce that sells Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive patent for use at GM, to help them out of their bankruptcy. Large gas-guzzling vehicles supported GM during the last year. The high gas prices from the beginning of 2008 decreased their sales and caused a lot of damage to the company, that now relies mostly on improving fuel efficiency and on developing the Volt, their ultimate weapon in terms of competitive consumption figures and hi-tech.
Toyota, on the other hand, through licensing their technology to GM, sees their hybrid technology establishing as an industry standard, and minimizes the losses of the past few months’ recession.
Another big company that doesn’t seem very affected by recession is Volkswagen, who truly wants a joint venture with the Chinese car manufacturer BYD.
BYD has made a significant progress by introducing their electric car to the Chinese market, the F3DM, which – by the way – is a competitor to GM’s future Volt. BYD has been producing batteries, covering 30% of the global Li-Ion cell phone battery market (you probably have one of theirs in your phone and don’t know).
VW wants BYD to help them grow their hybrid-electric vehicle projects, and BYD wants to have the opportunity of reaching other markets through VW’s already open commercial channels. So, it’s a win-win situation for both cases of venture presented here. It remains to be seen how long it will take until something good gets to us, the end users.