Peugeot hybrid concept

Car firms join forces to make parts for European hybrids

European automotive manufacturers BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën plan to set up a joint company to make components for hybrid vehicles.

The agreement to set up a 50-50 equity joint venture named BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification was signed on Tuesday 1 February and builds on an existing cooperation between the two companies.

BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification will focus on developing and producing hybrid components, including battery packs, E-machines, generators, power electronics and chargers, while also developing software for hybrid systems. Joint research and development, production and component purchasing will lead to significant economies of scale for both companies.

In a statement, the companies said the primary purpose of the initiative is to develop standard hybrid components for the electrification of their vehicle ranges. They also want to create "an open European platform on those technologies that will help the European industry to structure itself in the field of hybridisation." To help achieve that, the joint venture will integrate suppliers by outsourcing development work and could sell hybrid components to other companies beside its two shareholders.

Subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities, the joint venture is expected to launch its operations in the second quarter of 2011. The new hybrid components will equip both partners’ vehicles from 2014 onwards.

The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have been cooperating on engines for several years, building together more than 1.8 million units from 2006 to 2010. Their jointly designed 4-cylinder petrol engine is built into a number of Mini, Peugeot and Citroën brand models.

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