As organisational governance has evolved from hierarchical structures to relational networks, project-based alliances are increasingly employed by automakers as part of their innovation strategy. In this study, we explore characteristics of different types of project-based alliances in the automotive industry. Employing dyadic data drawn from 59 new product development project-based alliances undertaken by two firms, we are able to discern the relevant characteristics of product, process, and software development projects. Our results suggest very different characteristics for each project type, with products and software presenting contrary results across almost all characteristics. Characteristics of process-focused projects are unique from either product and software alliance-based projects.