* Carmakers to co-operate on hybrids, carbon fibre -sources
* BMW needs hybrids, electric cars to meet EU targets
* Toyota becomes more important to BMW as PSA ties fade
MUNICH/HAMBURG, June 27 BMW and Toyota
plan to expand a technological partnership, two sources
close to the companies told Reuters, a deal that could prompt a
shift in auto industry allegiances.
The agreement will be extended to include hybrid powertrains
and lightweight design, the sources said on Wednesday.
However, BMW has not agreed a deal to tap General Motors'
advanced hydrogen fuel cell technology, a spokesman for
the German luxury carmaker said.
BMW has primarily preferred France's PSA Peugeot Citroen
as a partner when it comes to reducing development and
But the cash-strapped French have recently sought savings
through an alliance with GM. By aligning more with Toyota, BMW
would have a partner that offers greater scale than Peugeot and
a financially healthy one at that.
BMW will host a news conference at 1030 GMT on Friday to
mark a visit from Toyota scion and chief executive Akio Toyoda
to the German carmaker's Munich headquarters.
The companies declined to comment on the conference's
subject matter, but the sources said Toyoda and BMW CEO Norbert
Reithofer would explain their new ideas. The sources added,
however, no contracts have been drafted for them to sign.
Eager to bulk up its diesel engine line-up in a sagging
European market, Toyota agreed to collaborate with BMW on
lithium-ion battery research in exchange for a steady supply of
BMW-made diesel engines starting in 2014.
This time BMW looks to be the partner in need. Now that
Peugeot is devoting resources to cementing an alliance with GM,
the joint venture with the French firm on hybrid parts looks
Additionally, BMW, whose hydrogen concept of burning the gas
in an internal combustion engine never took off, has failed to
reach an agreement to access GM's technology in this area.
"We are still in talks with GM, but no longer about this
issue," a spokesman said on Wednesday, confirming a report in
A successful partnership with the Detroit-based automaker
could have helped build trust with the new large shareholder of
BMW needs to reduce the carbon emissions of its new car
fleet by roughly a third, to 101 grams per kilometre, by 2020,
which Reithofer argues can only be achieved if it ramps up the
number of hybrid and electric cars in its range.
"I would bet that there will soon be BMW cars equipped with
Toyota's hybrid powertrains," one of the sources said.
The Japanese carmaker could then gain access to the carbon
fibre joint venture with SGL, which produces
cutting-edge lightweight materials that BMW aims to use on an
industrial scale to mass produce its Megacity electric car,
dubbed the i3.