"In the automobile industry, each company does its own R&D. Every innovation is patented before it ever reaches the public, which may take five years for the improvements to be incorporated in an actual car after they were originally developed. If the automobile industry started taking on an open source development model with sharing across companies and countries, the cost and prices would eventually drop, innovation and development would speed up and exceptional features would be shared across many makers and models. The auto industry could finally come up with the safe, clean energy car. The problem is that the car companies do not seem likely to support something that they perceive could put them out of business, even though this would not happen since nothing stops them from developing on their own and incorporating developments from their "open design shop" into their own products."
Something may, however, be changing. Via this borsen.dk article, I read on the website of the Swedish car magazine Teknikens Värld, that the cheapest car in the world, Tata Nano, will, in a couple of years, be launched as Fiat Nano in Europe in cooperation between Fiat and Tata Motors.
In this 3 minute video that I came across via Tata Nano on Facebook, you will hear, for example, that the Tata Nano team was able to reduce the number of parts used to make the door opening-closing system with almost 50%!