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Rivals Daimler and BMW are in talks to begin a joint-ownership structure to increase cooperation between the two German manufacturers, a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel said yesterday.

The report indicates that each company would take a seven per cent stake in the other, however BMW’s major shareholder, the Quandt family (who own 46 per cent of BMW), strongly oppose cross-ownership.

The Quandts are afraid that Daimler will ultimately attempt to take over BMW, similar to events that took place in 1998 when Daimler-Benz took majority control of Chrysler despite initially entering the joint-ownership on a “merger of equals” understanding.

Of course given the strict German laws, it would be interesting to see if the German government would allow even such a small cross-ownership, let alone a take over.

The first part of the plan includes cooperation for joint purchasing of components which could potentially save the two companies billions of euros in the future.

Talks of closer ties and mutually beneficial cooperation between the traditional-rivals comes amid a steep decline in luxury car sales.




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