Hybrid Development Center for Automotive Research Launched in Troy
Representatives of General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, and BMW joined with state and local politicians on October 3 to announce the official opening of the Hybrid Development Center for Automotive Research in Troy, Michigan.
Governor Jennifer Granholm said the official opening of the center marks a "proud day for Michigan" and asked the automakers to "know that you are home" in Michigan. "We are so pleased about this unusual arrangement," she said.
The center, which seeks to make the best hybrid system on Earth, is an unprecedented collaboration between rivals in the automobile industry. It has been open for more than a year, but an October 3 press conference marked its official kickoff.
The objective of the automakers is to jointly develop a two-mode hybrid drive system, as opposed to the current one-mode system. The development center is staffed with more than 500 engineers and specialists from all three companies. They focus on a flexible system design that can be scaled to the size, mass, and performance needs of each brand's vehicle concepts.
Chrysler plans to put hybrid drives in its Dodge Durango SUV starting in early 2008, BMW plans to introduce its first hybrid offerings in three to five years, and GM plans to use the hybrid drive as early as next year in its Tahoe and Yukon models. The three companies are investing more than $1 billion to develop and integrate the system.
For more information, read Governor Granholm's October 3 press release and the online C&G News article titled "Hybrid Development Center Seen As Boost for Community."