BMW and Jaguar Land Rover will collaborate on their next generation of electric cars, following similar moves by other car-makers that have teamed up to share the burden of developing the expensive new technology.
Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India's Tata Motors, will cooperate on BMW's fifth generation of electric drive technology, the companies said in a statement yesterday. It forms the backbone of a BMW electric model offensive set to start next year with the introduction of an electric X3 sports utility vehicle.
The move follows Fiat Chrysler's proposal last week to merge with Renault, creating the world's third-biggest car-maker. The deal would bring the Italian-American giant into a global alliance that includes Nissan, maker of the pioneering Leaf, and Mitsubishi.
The world's largest car-maker, Volkswagen, and US rival Ford are cooperating on building vans, a project that could extend to autonomous cars or sharing production platforms.
The need for record spending on the technology coincides with a time of low profit and stagnating sales. BMW is currently working through a $14bn (€12.4bn) savings plan, while Jaguar is undergoing a £2.5bn savings programme of its own and cutting 4,500 jobs.
The car-makers will form a joint team of experts in Munich that will develop power units together. Both companies will still produce drivetrains in their own factories, they said in the statement.
BMW was an early entrant into the electric-car market with the i3 hatchback, which began production in 2013, though sales haven't taken off. Jaguar started deliveries of the all-electric I-Pace last year, one of a crop of premium SUVs being launched by traditional car-makers to take on Tesla.