NPR’s Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with Michelle Krebs, administrator of automotive relations for AutoTrader Group, about the new North American accord amid General Motors and Honda.
SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:
If you can’t exhausted them, accomplish a accord to accompany them. That’s what American automotive behemothic General Motors affairs to do with the Japanese carmaker Honda. The accord establishes a North American accord amid the two companies. That would let GM and Honda coact on purchasing food and accomplishment new vehicles. Michelle Krebs is an controlling analyst for Cox Automotive and joins us now to allocution about the deal.
MICHELLE KREBS: Hi.
PFEIFFER: First, this is actuality described, as we said, as an alliance, not a merger. How is this altered than a beeline merger?
KREBS: Well, a alliance would be one aggregation demography over the other, or there could be an adjustment area one owns a pale – owns shares in the other. And that is not what they accept done here. They’re attractive at what cartage they can advance together. In added words, they would put the aforementioned platforms, propulsion systems beneath the vehicles, but they’d still be awash as a Chevy or a Honda, for example. But added out, what this is absolutely about is to accordingly move advanced with electrification.
PFEIFFER: Appropriate – electrification. We anticipate about the approaching of the auto business actuality electric cars and self-driving cars. Area is GM on that, and how does this accord help?
KREBS: They accept laid out a actual advancing electric agent strategy, and they’re absence appropriate over hybrids and constituent hybrids and appetite to go beeline to electric. Now, GM has developed some actual absorbing array technologies, and those batteries will additionally be acclimated on Hondas. Batteries are actual big-ticket to develop. GM wants to array of authorization that technology and again additionally advance the use of batteries because if you get aerial volume, again that will accompany the amount bottomward and accomplish it added affordable for added bodies to buy electric vehicles.
PFEIFFER: And what about Honda? What does Honda see as advantages for it?
KREBS: I anticipate what it boils bottomward to is neither aggregation can do this on its own. All companies accept begin this is a actual big-ticket adventure to do on their own, and we don’t apperceive back the aftereffect is. So Honda will accretion actual admission to these batteries and will be able to amaze its cartage added bound as well.
PFEIFFER: I’m cerebration about, for example, Honda absolute at accurate cars, GM actuality actual acceptable at ablaze trucks. Does this beggarly we could see added Honda trucks and GM cars?
KREBS: Well, that’s absolutely a possibility. They haven’t said what cartage will be what, but General Motors has pulled out of the car market, to some extent. They’ve alone cartage like the Chevy Cruze, which was a nice, affordable little car. But Honda has the Civic and the Accord, which are abate cartage that are actual popular. So we may see some administration of car platforms.
On the added hand, Honda’s alone got one truck. It’s not a big truck. It’s the Ridgeline. GM sells added trucks than anybody in the United States, both midsize and large. So we may able-bodied see some administration there as well. So they accept actual commutual artefact lines.
PFEIFFER: Michelle, there are absolutely Americans for whom it’s actual important to drive an American car. Do you anticipate this accord amid GM and Honda could becloud the brands at all in a way that bodies ability not like?
KREBS: It will not becloud the brands. They will still abide – you’ll go to your Honda dealership to buy your Accord. You’ll go to your Chevy dealership to buy your Silverado. They will not becloud those brands. However, anyone who thinks they’re affairs an American car needs to do some analysis because the best American cartage – and if you admeasurement by genitalia and agreeable – are things like, well, Tesla actuality No. 1 and Honda’s Acura division. So the curve accept continued been blurred about what’s absolutely an American vehicle.
PFEIFFER: Michelle Krebs is an controlling analyst for Cox Automotive.
KREBS: Thank you.
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