BMW and Daimler are in talks to work together in developing vehicle platforms for electric vehicles in a step that could save each automaker at least 7 billion euros ($7.91 billion), Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Auto Bild stated on Thursday.
The two premium automakers already have a joint procurement program and are now extending their alliance to include the development of sophisticated driver assistance systems and mobility services.
The talks over whether to work together on vehicle platforms could still fall apart, Sueddeutsche and Auto Bild stated, without mentioning sources.
Both companies have recognized cooperation talks which include sharing engineering expenses for driverless cars, but BMW and Daimler have repeatedly refused to comment on whether their cooperation could include whole vehicle platforms.
BMW’s finance chief stated in November he was open to deeper partnership with Daimler but stated it was difficult to identify win-win opportunities in the area of shared automobile platforms.
Auto Bild stated Daimler and BMW are discussing whether to share engineering expenses for compact and midsized cars, that are designed to be “electric first,” but also have the capability of accommodating standard powertrains.
BMW and Daimler would save 7 billion euros each, over a period of seven years, Auto Bild said.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the companies are seeking more than 7 billion euros in potential savings, and that if larger vehicles were included in the project, savings could be higher.
BMW and Daimler declined to comment.