Despite some disagreements over CO2 rules, European companies haven’t abandoned plans to work together. How far those plans will get, though, appears to hinge more on setting aside traditional rivalries than justifying the economic benefits. At the center of the talks is BMW, which is talking to Mercedes-Benz as well as Fiat and already has an R&D partnership with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen. The question is just how far the talks will go.
although not news, this is an incredibly interesting sign of the times today. 10 years ago, you would be laughed at if you suggested that BMW and Merc should collaborate. but the top guys at these two (still) very bitter rivals are accepting that possibility. however, the challenge is whether the culture and history between these two could be overcome to achieve economic sense. time will tell.
i for one would prefer a bmw-psa/peugeot-citroen-fiat partnership / alliance rather than sleeping with the merc enemy. this is more than an emotional rhetoric… but for 2 reasons:
1/ the psa and fiat groups do not provide direct rivalry (yet) to the likes of bmw
2/ the ethos and essense of the psa and fiat brands fit well with the bmw brand essense of driving performance experience
an alliance with merc could result in potential cannibalisation of either the bmw or the merc brand.