The alliance formed by three of the world’s largest car manufacturers to co-develop a range of hybrid drivetrains is already making great strides in progress. General Motors, BMW and DaimlerChrysler entered the joint-venture so that they could pool their talent and resources to fast-track the development of hybrid technology and catch up with industry leaders, Toyota, Honda and Ford. Signs of progress of the alliance are starting to appear with the opening of a new Hybrid Development Center in Troy, Michigan.

Roughly 500 engineers, technicians and specialists have been relocated to the centre including 150 personnel from Europe. Work is being focused on the development of a 2-mode hybrid system, which is expected to improve fuel economy by up to 25%. The first use of the technology in a production vehicle will be commissioned by Chrysler when it starts production of its 2008 Dodge Durango hybrid (07 model pictured above).