How far will the cooperations between BMW and Daimler go in the future? According to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, discussions are currently taking place between the two car manufacturers in regards to joint platforms for vehicles from BMW and Mercedes. The idea is being debated in order to be able to jointly shoulder the enormous costs of developing future models.
If the information is correct, the discussions between BMW and Daimler take place at the highest level: BMW Development Board member Klaus Fröhlich is also involved in the talks as well as the upcoming Daimler CEO Ola Källenius. The former Mercedes Development Board Ola Källenius, who will soon follow in the footsteps of Dieter Zetsche, should be the driving force behind the negotiations and wants to save costs by working with BMW.
The interest show by the the Stuttgart-based automaker could relate to, among other things BMW having designed an architecture for vehicles with a variety of drives. The ability to build conventional-powered cars on a band with electric cars and plug-in hybrids represents a significant cost advantage and frees BMW from the need to correctly predict the future demand for different concepts.
If BMW and Mercedes agree on a common architecture for vehicles with electrified propulsion, savings of up to seven billion euros would be in store for both sides. Same as the huge savings, the risks are high for both companies, especially in terms of image. A sufficiently strong differentiation of the brand-defining characteristics on a common architecture is clearly a question that will be asked by many.
Co-operations in other areas have already been decided: For years, BMW and Mercedes have been jointly buying components such as belt retractors that play no role in the brand experience. Recently, both sides have also agreed on a joint development of autonomous driver assistance systems and decided to merge their car sharing and other offerings.