BMW open to further collaboration with JLR, says CEO

BMW's CEO refused to rule out that the firm could potentially further its collaboration with JLR in the future

BMW badge

BMW’s boss has refused to deny that his company could collaborate further with Jaguar Land Rover, or invest in the British company outright. 

Industry sources suggested earlier this week that JLR owner Tata is actively courting both BMW and a number of Chinese firms including Geely for investment that would allow it to develop new models and the electrification technologies that are going to be increasingly important towards the end of the next decade.

Best SUVs to buy

Speaking at the opening of BMW’s new Battery Cell Competence Centre in Munich, the German manufacturer’s CEO Oliver Zipse left the door open on whether his firm could build on an existing deal with JLR, announced in the summer, to develop electric drive units. “Cooperation and working together is the new normal,” Zipse said. “It’s not only with drivetrains. We also have arrangements with a lot of other component manufacturers, where we go far beyond the normal supply chain.

“With Jaguar Land Rover, we have announced cooperation on the electric drivetrain and that’s running very well. We have another cooperation with them on internal combustion engines. Anything else is the future. There’s no decision on it and I wouldn’t comment on something that has not been decided.”

Zipse also defended BMW’s strategy of CLAR and FAAR - its two platform architectures that can support diesel, petrol, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles. Other brands, including Mercedes-Benz and the Volkswagen Group, have invested heavily in bespoke electric platforms which they believe offer benefits in packaging and efficiency that outweigh the reduction in production flexibility that they bring.

But when asked when BMW would have to consider making its own standalone electric-car platform, Zipse said, “In our one architecture you can integrate all components. You don’t have to compromise here. For this it takes a lot of effort and thinking, and we’re on the way to doing that. We think it’s our USP: you don’t need architecture on its own [for EVs]. 

“You may see some BMW models with platforms of their own; there will be one in two years’ time,” he added, referring to the iNEXT. “But for the mass market we don’t see the need for a specific platform. There’s only one reason why you’d do that: you have been too slow and you have to put on speed.”

Do you think a closer relationship between BMW and JLR is a good thing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

Recommended

Future classics: car investments that could make you money
Future classics - header image
Best cars & vans

Future classics: car investments that could make you money

Identifying future classic cars is a tricky but potentially lucrative business, here are our future classic recommendations
23 May 2022
‘BMW is working hard on its present as well as its future’
Opinion - BMW
BMW

‘BMW is working hard on its present as well as its future’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler is impressed at how BMW is still managing to produce such great combustion-engined cars while also focusing on its all-el…
18 May 2022
New BMW M135i 2022 review
2022 BMW M135i - front tracking
BMW

New BMW M135i 2022 review

BMW has made a number of significant changes only a short time after the M135i's original launch, but are these enough to make it a top hot hatch?
29 Apr 2022
New Jaguar XE and XF 300 Sport models introduced
Jaguar XE 300 Sport
Jaguar

New Jaguar XE and XF 300 Sport models introduced

Luxuriously appointed Jaguar XE and XF saloons come with four-cylinder mild-hybrid petrol power
26 Apr 2022

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front
Volkswagen

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up
Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider - watermarked front
Alfa Romeo

New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up

Alfa Romeo bosses have confirmed that a new two-seat electric roadster is in the company’s rejuvenation plans and our exclusive images preview how it …
19 May 2022