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BMW rumoured to be considering swoop for JLR

By James Pugh | Business | Published:

The boss of BMW has fuelled speculation that the German car giant could snap up a stake in Jaguar Land Rover.

The Jaguar Land Rover Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton . .

The two companies are already teaming up to develop electric cars as the industry adapts to sweeping changes and new rivals such as Tesla.

Speaking as he launched a new battery research centre at the company’s Munich base, Oliver Zipse, who took the wheel at BMW in August, said: “Co-operation and working together is the new normal in the industry.

“We are not only working on electric drive trains and internal combustion engines with JLR, but other components.”

He did not deny industry talk that under-pressure JLR is seeking a partner and BMW is one of the manufacturers it is talking to.

"We have made no decision on it – I cannot comment on something that is not decided," he said.

The two firms initially agreed to work together on the development of electrified powertrains, but it is believed they have now agreed terms on what is described as a “more far-reaching deal involving petrol, diesel and hybridised drivelines” for a wide range of models.

The move is said to be aimed at allowing JLR to reduce its on-going investment in petrol, diesel and hybrid drivelines and instead focus its research and development spending on the electric drivelines in partnership with BMW.

For BMW the deal safeguards existing research and development, procurement and production operations by adding volume beyond its own brands, BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce.

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It comes as JLR, which has a manufacturing centre at the i54 on the edge of Wolverhampton, recorded a £156 million pre-tax profit between July to September – a £246 million year-on-year improvement.

The improved results were driven by JLR's revenues rising to £6.1 billion, an eight per cent year-on-year increase.

While retail sales dipped by 0.7 per cent, the firm was boosted its performance in China, where sales grew 24.3 per cent.

JLR has been undergoing a massive £2.5 billion cost-cutting and restructuring programme, named Project Charge, and chief executive Ralf Speth said the improved results reflected the success of those efforts.

The firm has already achieved £2.2 billion on efficiencies, and is on track to reach its goals by the end of March 2020. It has also invested in new facilities, such as the recently opened Product Creation Centre.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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