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by Tim Beissmann

BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroen have entered into a joint venture to develop and produce hybrid vehicle components together, which will be ready for road cars by 2014.

BMW Peugeot Citroen Electrification will design and produce battery packs, generators, power electronics and chargers, and software for hybrid systems, among other things

The hybrid components will find their way into vehicles from both BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroen, following the 50-50 equity agreement that was signed on February 1 by the chairman of each company: Norbert Reithofer from BMW AG and Philippe Varin from PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Subject to approval by competition authorities, the joint venture is expected to launch its operations in the second quarter of 2011.

Mr Reithofer said the scale of the operation was the key to making future hybrid vehicles from BMW and PSA affordable.

“This cooperative venture will enable us to achieve significant economies of scale in the field of electrification,” Mr Reithofer said. “It also represents an important step on the road to sustainable mobility.”

Mr Varin added: “With this joint venture, we are sure to develop and expand our expertise and to build a European leader in the field of automotive hybrid innovation.”

Management and staff will be sourced from the existing workforce, with additional external staff to also be hired.

BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroen have been cooperating on engine technology for years. Between 2006 and 2010, they built more than 1.8 million units together.

In February, the two companies agreed to develop the next-generation of their four-cylinder petrol engine, which will be Euro VI-compliant. The current engine is fitted to Peugeot, Citroen and MINI vehicles.




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