DETROIT — In the not-too-distant past, Ford Motor Co. tying itself to a company part-owned by General Motors would have been analogous to treason in Detroit.
But petty rivalries and marketing wars over pickup beds are of little concern as executives focus on making the right multimillion-dollar bets to keep their companies relevant amid challenges from unfamiliar foes such as Google and even the vacuum-maker Dyson.
Ford's decision last week to form a partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft Inc. helps fill in one of the big blanks left by former CEO Mark Fields, who put Ford on a path toward launching an autonomous vehicle in 2021 but gave skeptical investors few details about how it might do so.
It comes nearly two years after GM sank $500 million into Lyft to acquire a 9 percent stake. GM also is partnering with Lyft to explore deploying self-driving Chevrolet Bolts on Lyft's platform.
A Ford insider said GM's role was never a factor in the decision to work with Lyft. Official statements from all parties involved stress that each partnership is independent of any other.