It's possible, one day in the not-too-distant future, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo cars will be sold with common petrol engines.
According to a report in Automobilwoche (via Reuters), Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and Geely, which owns Volvo, could soon jointly develop internal combustion engines and, possibly, electric drivetrains too.
Speaking to the German industry publication, both Volvo and Daimler have confirmed discussions are under way. Volvo says it is too early to confirm any projects, while Daimler says talks are progressing well.
If such a joint venture were to come about, it will help both companies reduce development costs and improve economies of scale.
With the need to invest in autonomous driving, electrified drivetrains and other new forms of technology, automakers of all stripes have been keen on joint development projects to help keep their research and development budgets under control.
Engine co-development between Daimler and Volvo could start as early as March this year, when Volvo is set to merge its drivetrain operations with Geely's.
Geely and Daimler have a complicated relationship. In 2018, Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu bought a nearly 10 per cent stake in Daimler, making him the largest individual shareholder in the German automaker.
Daimler already has an existing relationship with BAIC, which is its 50/50 joint venture partner in China.
Since Geely effectively became a major stakeholder in Daimler, the two companies have embarked on a number of joint-venture projects, including a ride-hailing service in China.
From 2022, production of Smart cars will move from France to China. Daimler is responsible for the styling of Smart's next generation of vehicles, while Geely is taking the lead for engineering.