A new trend in spending, or an aberration?
Research and development in the auto industry declined by $12 billion dollars in 2009 according to a recent study. While Toyota spent the most money of any automaker on R&D, it spent almost 20 percent less than 2008. After Toyota, GM spent the most money on R&D, followed by VW, Honda and Ford. Of those top spending automakers, only VW increased their R&D budget.
Kind of an alarming trend, it seems. With more and more hybrids and plug-ins hitting dealerships one would assume R&D spending would be increasing, particularly since the battery science for such vehicles demonstrates the need for technological breakthoughs.
Hopefully, 2010 paints a different picture.