Last month logistics company DHL released a report advocating that companies collaborate with other companies, including their rivals. Their logic was that teaming up on areas such as warehousing and logistics would benefit all, without hampering their competition.
Despite such advice appearing to run counter to traditional management theory, it does appear to be gaining in popularity. It was announced today that car giants GM and Ford are to put aside their rivalry in the development of a new transmission system.
The two rivals will be working together on the new fuel-efficient automatic transmissions. It's hoped that the collaboration will jointly design nine and ten speed transmissions to go their new range of cars and trucks.
The companies believe that this collaboration will see savings of several million dollars, with the money instead going into areas that make each vehicle stand out.
With transmissions typically costing hundreds of millions to develop, the potential for savings are considerable, although neither company was willing to specify exact targets.
"While we still can be really competitive, we can collaborate where it makes sense," said General Motors Co. spokesman Dan Flores. "We will still fight every day in the marketplace over every sale."
Whilst both companies are being coy around the expected release date of the new transmission, a similar collaboration on a six speed transmission took around three years to reach the marketplace.
Experts believe that a nine speed transmission can improve fuel efficiency by around 10% over a traditional six speed model. Whilst companies such as Land Rover already have nine speed vehicles set to hit the market, neither Ford or GM have much in the pipeline, hence the efforts to work together to close the gap.