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27What does the open patents deal mean for Tesla ... and BMW?

Gift to the world or trade bait? Tesla Motors announced this week it would open its patents for other automakers to use. That has analysts guessing whether the California-based electric-vehicle maker is looking to either swap trade secrets with other automakers or to expand the proverbial pie that represents the plug-in vehicle market. For its part, Tesla says the answer is B.

AddNissan, Mahindra may bond over EVs

Like Lloyd in Dumb & Dumber rejoicing that he's got a "one out of a million" chance with Mary Swanson, electric-vehicle advocates in India can do the same. That's because both local automaker Mahindra and Japan-based Nissan say they would consider working together to promote EVs in that country.

102GM, Honda to work together on hydrogen fuel cells for 2020-ish

In January, Ford, Daimler and Nissan announced they would all work together on fuel cell technology. Toyota is getting ready for its own 2015 fuel cell car. Hyundai is delivering H2 vehicles today. The Department of Energy has a plan called H2USA. Put all this together, and the future of the hydrogen vehicle is finally getting a little clearer. Especially with today's announcement that General Motors and Honda have signed a "long-term, definitive master agreement" that will co-develop next-gener

14General Motors, BMW to shack up on fuel cell development

Reuters reports that General Motors and BMW are headed toward a partnership that may see the two automakers join forces on the creation of a fuel cell system. German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche has cited unnamed industry sources as saying talks between the companies are already quite advanced, and that the duo may formalize the agreement soon.

AddGeneral Motors, BMW to shack up on fuel cell development

Reuters reports General Motors and BMW are headed toward a partnership that may see the two automakers join forces on the creation of a fuel cell system. German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche has cited unnamed industry sources as saying talks between the companies are already quite advanced, and that the duo may formalize the agreement soon. GM has already established itself as an industry authority on fuel cell vehicles, and BMW is likely hoping to leverage some of that knowledge into its

AddZetsche reportedly says Daimler to pick new compact car partner by mid-2010

Despite rumors of Daimler and Renault collaborating on a four-door Smart model, no official tie-up between the two companies has been announced. That could change next year when Daimler will reportedly decide who its small-car partner will be. Daimler is getting even more heavily into the development of small cars, both with its Smart brand and the Mercedes-Benz A- and B Class offerings that might one day make it to America.

4Zetsche reportedly says Daimler to pick new compact car partner by mid-2010

Despite rumors of Daimler and Renault collaborating on a four-door Smart model, no official tie-up between the two companies has been announced. That could change next year when Daimler will reportedly decide who its small-car partner will be. Daimler is getting even more heavily into the development of small cars, both with its Smart brand and the Mercedes-Benz A- and B Class offerings that might one day make it to America.

10Pagani and Mercedes AMG ink new engine deal

The world's major sportscar-makers all have major parent companies behind them: Ferrari and Maserati have the Fiat Group while Lamborghini (and Bugatti) are under the VW/Audi umbrella. Pagani Automobili SpA, however, remains independent, but hooked up with Mercedes to provide the motivation in the heart-racing Zonda supercar. Not to worry, though, because by all accounts the V12 engine that AMG builds by hand for Pagani is an awesome powerplant. Its displacement and output have increased from si

1Shacking up - Nanjing and SAIC form partnership

Instead of beating each other's brains out and assuring that nobody wins, SAIC and Nanjing have decided to stand close to each other on the playground. While they may still avoid eye contact and kick pebbles instead of developing a friendship, they will be carrying out what they're terming a "comprehensive collaboration." Design, production and sales efforts will be pooled in an effort to make China's automakers competitive with outsiders like General Motors and Volkswagen, who currently dominat

4BMW and Mercedes may hook up for subcompact

Auto Bild is reporting that Mercedes and BMW may consider collaborating on subcompacts in the coming years. BMW's keeping an eye on the MINI plant in Oxford, England. If the factory doesn't run at full-tilt, BMW takes a monetary hit. Shacking up with Mercedes to build the next generation A-Class at MINI's facility and on the MINI platform would keep production humming right along. Other potential partners have been mentioned as well, such as Honda and PSA. Mercedes and BMW are working on hybrid

3BMW and PSA to expand engine partnership

It struck us as an odd pairing when BMW and PSA Peugeot-Citroen formed their initial partnership. BMW, a German conglomerate building premium performance and luxury automobiles and controlling a couple small but iconic British marques, and PSA, a grouping of two run-of-the-mill mass-production French brands. Their products don't overlap much, but the all but total lack of competition is probably what helps them get along. No competition means no threat.

6Nissan and Suzuki mulling more partnerships

Apparently the partnership between Suzuki and Nissan is one that both sides like. So much so that they are already discussing additional future collaborations. We have already reported about the Suzuki-built, Nissan-badged Moco minicar, the Nissan-built, Suzuki-badged Jimny from Thailand, and then the sharing of another minicar for Europe in exchange for Suzuki getting a Nissan minivan to fill capacity at its Indian factory.

49Top 5 Worst Collaborations

While pondering the repercussions of an alliance between General Motors and Nissan/Renault, we realized our future automotive landscape might include an Altima wearing a bowtie or a pushrod-powered 350Z. Some of the combinations could be interesting, but history has proven that when two automakers collaborate, the opportunity for a turd is there. So regardless of whether or not these two companies hook up, we offer up this list of the Top 5 Worst Collaborations as a warning to both.

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