BMW, Peugeot to co-develop new hybrids

BMW and Peugeot have both announced their intentions to invest 100 million EUR ($139 million) into another joint venture that they’ve dubbed: “BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification.” 

The two automakers already share a ten year history of collaboration and intend to use that experience on developing new hybrid technologies manufactured in Europe.

While the plan must still be approved by certain “competition authorities” both companies seem confident that R&D for their proprietary hybrid technologies will commence in late 2011.

Both BMW and Peugeot have offered hybrid vehicles in the past, but sourced the hybrid technology from other manufacturers.

BMW’s Hybrid X6, for instance, uses hybrid elements produced from a partnership with Daimler-Chrysler and General Motors. Under the new plan, BMW and Peugeot could end up posturing themselves as the top European producers of hybrid vehicle parts.

“As responsible carmakers, we aim to create an open European platform and foster the development of European standards for hybrid technologies. This joint venture will also enable us to develop advanced technological manufacturing expertise in Europe in the field of electric powertrains, and to retain all its potential for creating value,” said Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën.

The partnership will create 400 R&D positions in the Munich, Germany area this year, then add another 250 jobs during 2014  when manufacturing in Mulhouse, France is expected to get ramped up.

Management and workforce candidates will be resourced primarily from existing employees of the two parent companies, but about 100 new positions are expected to open for external candidates.

Caleb Denison, EarthTechling