One could never imagine an end to the rivalry between BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but now that environmental issues are taking centre stage in the developed world, the German giants are putting on a united front to develop greener motors.
That’s right, the BMW Group and DaimlerChrysler AG have decided to collaborate in the field of hybrid drive technology with the common goal of developing a commercially-viable hybrid module for rear-wheel drive premium segment cars within the next three years.
The theory is that by pooling their collective knowledge and development capacity, both companies will be able to make hybrid drive systems that are not prohibitively priced and… available before flying cars hit the market.
DaimlerChrysler Board of Management member Dr Thomas Weber was recently quoted as saying: “Cooperation in the field of innovative drive systems makes good sense not only from a technical but also from an economic standpoint. It will help to strengthen the competitiveness of two German manufacturers whose requirements in the premium segment are very similar.”
And, according to BMW Board member, Dr Klaus Draeger, the joint venture will not result in the dilution of the individual character of the Munich marque.
“This collaboration will allow us to broaden our technological base in the area of future hybrid drive systems for the premium class and will allow the two companies to pool their innovative resources,” Draeger remarked, “the distinct identities of the different brands will not be affected, since the relevant technologies will be tailored to fit the specific character of the different vehicles.”< br>
The core development of this proposed hybrid system would take place in Germany with the project framework, quality measures, and testing and development methods being closely integrated between the two companies.
Both companies are rapidly expanding their portfolio of environmentally friendly technologies, from the production-ready Mercedes BlueTec range to BMW’s cutting edge Hydrogen-driven 760H. It will be interesting to see what comes of this Captain Planet-style union of two hugely influential companies…