BMW joins hybrid engine development group
7 September, MUNICH - Premium car manufacturer BMW said Wednesday it would join a combined effort by German-based rival DaimlerChrysler and U.S. giant General Motors to develop fuel-saving hybrid engines.
MUNICH - Premium car manufacturer BMW said Wednesday it would join a combined effort by German-based rival DaimlerChrysler and U.S. giant General Motors to develop fuel-saving hybrid engines.
BMW made the announcement just after unveiling some of its best sales figures in seven years, posting world sales in August of 99,193, a gain of 23 per cent from one year earlier. BMW said its remodelled 3 series and its new 1 series had sold very strongly.
The German company said it was on course to set a full-year sales record, but admitted it was well short of its target of selling 1,000 Rolls-Royce super-luxury cars: it has sold just 389 this year.
Eight-month group sales were up 11 per cent to 856,731. Late-year sales might ease as the 1 series passes its first birthday.
The hybrid tie-up brings together three companies that are normally fierce rivals and that have been caught on the wrong foot by the success of Toyota's hybrid, a power train where a petrol engine is combined with battery-driven electric motors.
Hybrids save fuel mainly because the engine needs a smaller power reserve and can run at constant revolutions.
BMW, based im Munich, said it would assist the joint research project being conducted in Troy, Michigan. The three firms said that their combined know-how would ensure faster development of the "two-mode" system that they forecast would be better that Toyota's.
Other partners would be welcome to the alliance. Industry sources say Porsche of Germany may still possibly join the group. DaimlerChrysler and GM have previously said they hope to bring out their first hybrid-powered cars and pick-up trucks in 2007.
Two-mode, in which a car can be driven by electric power only in stop-and-start traffic or by both power sources at once, is claimed to improve power, fuel-economy and range at the same time.
On Tuesday this week, two major German components suppliers, Continental and ZF Friedrichshafen, said they would jointly develop a hybrid power train of their own by 2007.
Subject: German news