Black Chevy Volt 2
In a live webchat on Friday, our illustrious Editor-In-Chief, Lyle Dennis, posed a question to GM North America President, Troy Clarke, regarding collaboration with Toyota, given the American automaker's failed economic state.Dennis: What are some possible options under consideration for GM’s involvement in NUMMI, and is GM considering licensing the synergy drive hybrid system from Toyota?
Clarke: Lyle, With regard to Nummi we are still in discussions with Toyota on the JV and potential products. We are not in current discussions with Toyota on licensing their synergy drive. I would point out that we are working like crazy on our own hybrid technology. Also, we are really moving fast on the Volt of which you are well aware.
NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.) is a Fremont, California based joint venture between GM and Toyota that was formed in the early 1980s. The facility currently produces the compact Toyota Corolla
Matrix wagon and its GM wagon sibling, the Pontiac Vibe (although production of the Vibe will end in August).
While NUMMI may survive GM's bankruptcy, any thought of GM's products sporting Hybrid Synergy Drive will not. Reports surfaced late last week that Toyota was considering moving production of the Prius to the NUMMI facility, but Toyota has since denied that.
GM licensing Toyota's hybrid technology wouldn't make sense, considering the potential of the General's two-mode system and their commitment to extended range plug-in technology which will be on the streets in the Chevy Volt in late 2010. Then again, the Corvette ZR1 doesn't make much sense either, but we love it anyway.