Automakers try to achieve economy of scales through alliances, and that holds true for even the most successful brands these days.
The BMW Group, which only recently expanded its cooperation with the PSA Peugeot Citroen Group to include hybrid components and Toyota Motor Corp. to begin a collaborative effort in the development of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells, is now said to be in talks with South Korea’s Hyundai Motors.
On Thursday, German industry newsletter Automobil Produktion reported that Hyundai Chairman Chung Mong-koo’s son and heir apparent, Chung Eui-sun, met up with a group of top BMW managers in Munich to talk about a possible engine alliance.
While neither company would comment on the report, Reuters also spoke to a different source “with direct knowledge of the matter” who told the news agency that BMW and Hyundai are discussing a possible tie-up in engine development and other areas, adding that “The talks are at early stages”.
Reuters added in its report that it contacted a third source familiar with the matter, who said the two companies had discussed a comprehensive alliance including jointly developing an engine and sharing development costs equally, but had no knowledge if the talks were still going on.
While speaking to reporters on Thursday, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer denied the alliance talks. “Further co-operation partners are currently not foreseen,” he said.
A Hyundai Motor spokesman said that no such meetings took place and that the report is “groundless”.