In the past year, several reports indicated possible engine agreements between BMW and a series of smaller or larger automakers. The insolvent carmaker Saab signed an engine sharing contract with BMW back in September 2010, preceded by a large diesel engine order from Carbon Motors, and more recently, Fisker Automotive said it will receive the new N20 four-cylinder powerplants from BMW.

According to German newspaper Der Spiegel, General Motors is also interested in using BMW petrol and diesel engines. Citing Stephen Girsky of GM, the German publication says General Motors has officially requested these engines from Munich, but it remains unknown which models the US automaker would like to use them for.

The negotiations between BMW Group and General Motors started in Fall 2010, even though at the time Dr. Norbert Reithofer, BMW boss, denied the discussions between the two brands.

It is clear that General Motors also has something to offer, more specifically the technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera, two highly respected vehicles in the industry with technology that could benefit the new BMW i sub–brand.

This last April, BMW hired Frank Weber, Opel product chief and lead engineer for Chevy Volt. Weber brings his expertise and lessons learned from the Volt that will be applied to the BMW i3, the first BMW fully electric vehicle to come to market in 2013.