Automakers say open to sharing parts

DETROIT, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The purchasing chiefs of major automakers said on Thursday they are open to sharing vehicle parts with competitors to save money.

"We are constantly talking to our competitors on what we can do together," said Bo Andersson, General Motors Corp GM.N group vice president of global purchasing and supply.

Andersson cited examples such as the joint development of a six-speed transmission with Ford Motor Co. F.N and use of seat frames in GM's HHR wagon that was originally developed for Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T

Tony Brown, Ford senior vice president in charge of purchasing, said that kind of cooperation can help lower costs as investment costs are spread across manufacturers.

“Some of it is already going on,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of it.”

With common parts, automakers could save money by sharing costs on design, development and testing, especially on parts that customers do not touch or see like fuse boxes.

“Where it makes strategic sense for two, three or four of us, whatever the case may be, then we’ll take advantage of those opportunities,” Brown said.

Purchasing chiefs of Toyota and Chrysler also said at the conference that they were interested in sharing parts with competitors. (Reporting by Poornima Gupta)