In the recent past BMW Group entered into partnerships with several automakers with specific agendas. With Toyota it was for a sports car and with McLaren for a halo supercar. Now, it seems that top management has changed business priorities and focus on lowering production costs. BMW has confirmed that it will not work with Toyota or McLaren on specific projects but concentrate its efforts by going alone.
On the volume car side, BMW has confirmed it’s in talks with China’s Great Wall for producing the next generation of the MINI. These MINIs would be sold on the Chinese market and exported to Europe and the United States. BMW and Great Wall could take the deal a step further by jointly developing a platform for small, front-wheel drive cars.
Interestingly, BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler were also looking at projects to jointly develop a pair of modular platforms and save at least US$9-US$12 billion. But cartel allegations by media related to activity in 1990s has forced BMW for a serious re-think. The investigations revealed that several carmakers including Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Daimler, met in secret working groups to discuss “the technology, costs, suppliers, and even the exhaust gas purification of its diesel vehicles.
With McLaren the idea was to use a Super Series chassis powered by a mild hybrid powertrain built around a V8 engine. The model could have finally given a heir to the M1 for the brand.