Benz And Beemer Start Food Co-op For Chinese Parts

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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benz and beemer start food co op for chinese parts
As reported here, Daimler AG plans to increase its sourcing of automotive components from China nearly eight-fold within four years. The luxury car maker will buy $3.25b worth of car components per year in China. Now, BMW is itching to get in on the act. Not that BMW is new to buying parts in China, they have done that for years, mostly unbeknown to their well-heeled customers. BMW and Daimler are in talks to create a huge buying co-op. They want to create critical mass, and drop the bomb on their Chinese suppliers, the German Handelsblatt reports. By concentrating their buying power, Beemer and Benz intend to save €350m per year, in discounts alone. To assuage their American clientele, they say that they will also extend the stingy hand of their allied purchasing departments to parts suppliers in the U.S.A. However, with the dollar high and U.S. parts manufactures dead, or on the brink of extinction, the BMW/Mercedes buying axis is squarely targeted at China. The “deeper discounts” news from Deutschland already has Chinese parts makers atwitter and alarmed. Here is why ….For long, Volkswagen and Audi have profited from their purchasing clout in China in a big way. They produce the same cars in China, they use the same parts for production back home. Made in Germany on the outside, Made in China on the inside. For a year, BMW and Daimler have been discussing an axis of acquisition already. Now Daimler CFO Bodo Uebber is getting edgy and signaled to Munich to “get on with” finishing the deal. Times are tough, and with a €350m saved here, and a €350m saved there, soon you’ll be talking real money. BMW wants to save €4b until 2012 in purchasing. Cable harnesses are already being outsourced to Africa. In the meantime, other makers in Europe are busy forging alliances: Peugeot, Toyota and Citroen together build cars in the Czech Republic. Fiat and Ford are in the heavy petting stage, aimed at giving birth to small cars. Parents BMW and Fiat want to arrange a tête-à-tête between Mini and Alfa. How far until we’ll see a huge parts purchasing co-op for the whole shebang?
Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Nov 13, 2008

    I forgot. Snap-On manufactures in China. So does Bosch. And sundry others. You need to know how to manage quality.

  • Hurls Hurls on Nov 13, 2008

    Well maybe BMW can outsource their auto trannies from ZF to someone in China -- then maybe they'll last longer than 70k miles :) Just don't have Aisin build them like the Honda Autos :)

  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.