This morning, BMW announced a partnership together with Fiat and Alfa Romeo. All three companies will work together on developing components and systems as well as a common platform for the Mini Cooper, Alfa Romeo’s Mi.To and Fiat’s Grande Punto. The Punto and the Mini are due to be released early in 2010.
BMW’s brand development head Friedrich Eichiner said “We are currently examining with Fiat group possibilities for the joint use of components and systems in Mini and Alfa Romeo vehicles.”
Fiat and BMW are also considering developing new gasoline and diesel engines, even though Fiat has already partnerships with other automakers including PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Suzuki and Tata. BMW already cooperates with the French company PSA in developing engines for the Mini's and soon for the BMW 1 Series.
One of the main reason why so many carmakers are cooperating with the competitors is the need to reduce investments costs for new models.
Also, BMW will provide support in launching Alfa Romeo in North America. "Mini U.S. dealers would have the possibility to also sell Alfa Romeo cars," a Fiat spokesman told Automotive News Europe today. Alfa Romeo plans to return to the United States in 2010.
Interesting move by BMW? Absolutely!