DETROIT - The government-industry collaboration that is helping US automakers engineer cars for the next century faces an uncertain future because of the Daimler-Chrysler merger.
The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles was conceived as a patriotic enterprise, trying to give US automakers an edge in world competition. Now that Chrysler is no longer American, the collaboration is in doubt.
'The question is on the table,' said Ron York, General Motors' director of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles.
The Detroit automakers' involvement in the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles has been conducted through the US Council for Automotive Research. USCAR serves as the umbrella organization for about a dozen consortia of common research projects. In them, companies join with federal agencies and academic institutions in pre-competitive research. The projects are funded with roughly equal shares from public and private sources.
DaimlerChrysler wants to be part of USCAR. 'The decision rests with GM and Ford,' said Scott Fosgard, Chrysler design and engineering spokesman.