A new rumor suggests that long-time rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent, Daimler, might form a partnership to develop future vehicle platforms, batteries, and autonomous vehicle technology together. Unnamed insiders indicate that the discussions are still in the early stages, and the automakers would keep any component sharing to parts that aren't brand specific, according to Automotive News Europe.
If this agreement happens, don't expect the fruits of the labor to arrive very quickly. The relatively slow rate of automotive development means that it would be several years between the parts from this partnership are actually in vehicles available at dealers.
A partnership between BMW and Daimler isn't completely without precedent, either. In 2017, the two automakers, along with Ford and VW, started working together to create a fast-charging network across Europe, starting with Germany, Austria, and Norway. In 2016, they also teamed up with telecom companies to set the specs for 5G mobile networks. Audi, BMW, and Daimler also cooperated to buy Nokia's Here mapping service, and they intended to use the technology for improving next-gen driver assistance and autonomous motoring systems.
The automotive industry is going through a very tumultuous period as automakers transition from decades of building combustion engines to putting a much greater focus on electric mobility. The car of the future might not even a human to control it, either. Both of these technologies require massive investments, and a partnership like the possible one between BMW and Daimler would cut their respective costs necessary to bring the technology to market.
Source: Automotive News Europe