Not exactly a technological lightweight itself, BMW is in talks with General Motors about partnering on future tech research and development, including for fuel cell powertrains.
BMW’s CEO Norbert Reithofer said at the Geneva Motor Show today that he “can imagine” sharing the workload with GM, and BMW has said it may also work with PSA Peugeot Citroen to develop gasoline engines beyond an existing contract it already has with PSA through 2015.
Recently GM bought a 7-percent share of PSA to build on technologies and augment sales. Peugeot has several other partners with which it develops technologies around the world, and BMW could be next to further build on that strategy as well.
What other technologies BMW could collaborate with GM and its new partner – such as electrified vehicles – remains to be seen. As automakers look at looming emissions and fuel efficiency deadlines requiring technological innovation, we expect to see more such alliances, not to mention occasional hiring away of top-gun talent.
Last April BMW hired German native Frank Weber, the GM engineer who helped lead development of the Volt and who is presently working for BMW at a high level on its electrified vehicle program.
Having attracted at least one of GM’s most innovative engineers knowledgeable of significant intellectual capital, BMW could now could continue to share knowledge and costs with GM which has completed extensive work already on electrified and hydrogen technologies, among others.