FCA negotiating hydrogen powertrain partnership with Hyundai
Italian auto major, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has revealed that the company is negotiating with the South Korean car giant Hyundai Motor, regarding a technical alliance. This partnership could prove to be a very strong one, although there are no possibilities of these two companies merging together, revealed FCA CEO, Sergio Marchionne to the media.
While speaking on the development, Marchionne said that this alliance would also involve transmissions and could become "a strong" association.
On the other hand, Hyundai recently said that the company welcomes the interest from other automakers in its hydrogen-powered technologies and advanced transmissions.
Hyundai was the initial leader in commercialization of the fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), although Japanese auto major, Toyota Motor is the leading company in terms of sales. FCA shrunk away from the uncertain hydrogen powered FCV technology earlier, while it is certainly interested now.
Marchionne added by telling the media in Milan that there is possibility of a technical partnership with Hyundai that already supplies some car components as well as transmissions for the US; adding that the company is looking to finalize a deal to develop transmissions and FCV technology with Hyundai.
Marchionne, who led Fiat’s takeover of Chrysler, was quick to also add that there are no odds of a company merger with Hyundai though.
Meanwhile, Hyundai is busy working on making its FCV technology more advanced. The Korean auto major is currently working on making the fuel-cell powertrain compact enough to be able to be fitted into several. Hyundai wants to make the fuel cell powertrain comparable in size with an internal-combustion engine, to make it practical and also working to reduce development costs.
Hyundai manufactures the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, and is also planning to launch a long range Fuel Cell SUV in 2018. The company has been highly praised for its rapid advancements in alternative fuel technology.
On the other hand, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been only focusing on the electric powered technology for green cars, while this to the company has been doing in a very limited manner. So far, Fiat has offered a plug-in electric version of its 500 subcompact model, which is currently available only in California. Fiat has also unveiled a hybrid model of the Pacifica minivan last year.
As per the market experts, this association can be a “win-win situation” for both auto majors. If this partnership really comes through, then Hyundai would be able to sell its fuel cell engines, which is a space where the Japanese auto manufacturers are ahead. On the other hand, Fiat Chrysler would be able to expand its portfolio with new advanced fuel-cell vehicle models.
Meanwhile, Marchionne mentioned that FCA will be definitely pushing forward with the electrification of its products. However, the company does not see EVs as the sole alternative to traditional engines, and is thus interested in FCVs.
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