“The alliance with General Motors is a big weapon for us.”
Honda CEO, President, and Executive Director Toshihiro Mibe summed up his thoughts in that one succinct phrase during a round-table discussion with members of the media last week. Speaking of the company’s transition toward zero carbon emissions, both Mibe and Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinji Aoyama extolled the virtues of Honda’s partnership with GM, both on the Ultium-based 2024 Prologue electric SUV and future products based on a platform codeveloped by the two automotive giants.
“We believe holistic collaboration is mutually beneficial, not only the [vehicle] platform but with purchasing and procurement,” said Aoyama. “Collaboration is the future.”
But while the 2024 Honda Prologue is based largely on General Motors technologies – its Ultium platform and batteries are shared with the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq and 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV – the next joint project between the two will likely have lots more Honda DNA. Coming in 2027 will be an electric car with a starting price of under $30,000, which will feature more intelligence-sharing between the GM and the Japanese automaker. Codenamed AEV (affordable electric vehicle), the new project will comprise the best of each respective brand.
“Both Honda and GM have enough technologies to build [our own cars],” Aoyama said. “So now the engineers from both entities are disclosing the technologies that we have, then trying to discuss which technologies could be optimal for both.”
Gallery: 2024 Honda Prologue
That could mean, theoretically speaking, that the AEV project could be an entirely Honda-sourced design, although it’s far more likely that each company will contribute certain components. What’s more, the collaboration isn’t limited just to the car itself. Both GM and Honda are evaluating their logistics and production facilities to identify the most effective way to acquire the materials, humanpower, and space needed to build the entry-level EV. It’s all part of both companies’ goal to be carbon-neutral, GM by 2040 and Honda by 2050.
“From now on, everything from the procurement and materials to resource circulation is a total package,” Aoyama said. “We have to realize everything in this scope, not merely battery electric vehicles.”