Video: General Motors Spent $6.96 Billion On R&D In 201010
General Motors is currently the World’s largest automaker. Yet, when it comes to research and development spending, Autoline Daily has discovered that it ranks third in the world as of 2010, spending $6.96 billion to Toyota’s $8.49 billion and Volkswagen’s $9.2 billion (the very same company that developed the Bugatti Veyron).
At the same time, GM falls to fourth place behind BMW, Honda and Volkswagen is R&D spending relative to percentage of company revenue, spending 5.1% of all its funding on future product development.
It makes us wonder what would happen if The General was number one in R&D spending. Would the Chevy Volt be cheaper? Would it have already launched a double-clutch transmission? Would its full-sized pickup trucks have already achieved a fuel economy of 25 mpg highway? Would products such as the recently-cancelled Alpha-based convertible still be on the horizon? Who knows.
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Keep in mind that GM spent a massive amount of money YEARS ago to thoroughly research Direct Injection, Turbocharging, and electrification technology, and has already spent the money to develop its next generation of high-tech engines.
Honda has hardly any turbos in service, no direct injection, and 5-speed transmissions. They’re spending money to catch up.
VW on the other hand is researching a fleet of new vehicles in the hopes to increase its US market share to where, well, GM already is. They’re spending money to catch up.
BMW is doing heavy research into electric vehicle tech – which cost massive sums of money. GM already did that. BMW’s spending money to catch up.
I’d be more interested to see the numbers averaged over the course of more than one year. Currently the fact that GM is spending as much money as it is indicates that they’re doing a heck of a lot more than, say, Honda when it comes to platforms and truly next generation technology.
Look at Ford for a perfect example of this. They’ve done a lot of the same research as GM, and they spent far less on R&D, yet they have stellar new products.
Crazy what happens when you invest in future technology yesterday, instead of playing catch-up today.
VW also develops some very expensive, very high-tech cars (Lambo, Bugatti, Bentley, Audi), and that could explain the high budget.
You also have to keep in mind that Honda and Bimmer have less revenue to work with, so in order for them to stay relevant, R&D spending must take up a high percentage of revenue. Consider the fact that BMW AG posted an annual revenue of $81 billion last year, Honda had $92 billion, while GM had $135.6 billion in annual revenue.The spending percentage of BMW and Honda reflects their smaller revenues.
According to TTAC, GM spent $8.1 billion in 2007: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/11/automotive-rd-means-not-so-very-much%E2%80%8F/
If you remember, GM was also bankrupt a few years ago, and cut R&D spending by 25% in 2009, spending $6 billion during the year: http://gmauthority.com/blog/2010/12/report-gm-cut-rd-spending-by-25-percent-during-2008-carpocalypse/
According to the above video from AD, they spent $.96 billion more in 2010 than in 2009. So GM is making up for lost ground, too. However the company seems to have more money to spend going froward but is playing conservative.
Some more food for thought: BMW makes a limited amount of vehicles compared to GM and VW… BMW only has 10 models: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, X1, X3, X5, X6, and Z4. Most of those are built on a variant of the same architecture. One just needs to have a look at our navigation buttons (above) to see how many vehicles GM makes 🙂
So while BMW does have a smaller bag to pull from, it doesn’t need to pull that much.
But then the thing is that Ford has so many technology on their vehicles and yet they spend 3.9%.
maybe ford need more spending in trany.quality,,,,
I hate to admit it, but Ford is the best of the best right now in both areas, right up there with GM and much better than Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. I think you’ve been very unfortunate with your series of Escapes and I don’t think what you’re experiencing is widespread… Even if it were, the Escape is an “old Ford” vehicle — engineered, designed, strategized, and assembled before the Ford Motor Co. that exists today. Its replacement will be much different… and much better. I hate bad luck — but it happens sometimes mate!
Does GM build manual transmissions ? Aren’t all their manual transmissions from out side suppliers. If they offer a double clutch transmission in north America some else will build it and they will just make automatic transmissions for the outher 92% of the cars they sell.
GM builds transmissions in its own facilities, and they develop them as well. See the following for some examples:
All of those are automatic transmissions. The manual transmissions are aisin getrag and tremec.
Ah, yes they are. Regardless, GM would still have to be willing to pay a supplier to build a fancy double-clutch.