General Motors will partially offset the cost of developing electric technology by manufacturing battery-powered cars for Honda and Acura, according to an unverified report. Ultium battery technology is at the center of the deal.
Without citing sources, industry trade journal Automotive News wrote that Honda has agreed to enlist rival-turned-partner General Motors as one of its EV suppliers during the first half of the 2020s. The factory that currently builds Chevrolet’s Blazer and Equinox in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, will begin manufacturing a Honda crossover in 2023, meaning it likely won’t arrive until the 2024 model year. On the other side of the border, the former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, will churn out an Acura crossover beginning in 2024, about two years after it starts making the Cadillac Lyriq. Neither model has been revealed, and Honda hasn’t commented on the report.
Insiders familiar with the contents of the firm’s product pipeline told Automotive News that both crossovers will be about as big as the Lyriq (pictured), which will be close in size to the 190-inch long XT5. Power for the two models will come from the Ultium battery technology that General Motors is developing for over a dozen electric cars, including the GMC Hummer and a Chevrolet-badged pickup we might discover next week during CES 2021.
Both EVs will be built by General Motors, and they’ll be powered by General Motors-developed technology (some will even receive OnStar and the hands-free Super Cruise driver assistance system), but everything motorists see and touch will be Honda- or Acura-specific. We’re not expecting that the tie-up will spawn a pair of blandly badge-engineered crossovers; stylists will likely give each one its own design identity inside and out.
Honda had previously confirmed plans to build at least two electric models on General Motors bones, and it announced that its American partner would also handle manufacturing, but this is the first time executives are throwing Acura onto the stage. What remains to be seen — assuming the report is accurate — is whether the Lyriq will compete directly against its Acura-branded sister model, or if they’ll be positioned in different segments.