Strange Bedfellows: BMW Wants a Cozier Relationship With Daimler to Make Life Easier
According to BMW’s new head of purchasing, Markus Duesmann, the company intends to expand its cooperation with Daimler AG in acquiring automotive components from suppliers.
The competing automakers began their cooperative purchasing in 2008, limiting it to elements most manufacturers typically share already — items like seating frames, radiators, tires, or air conditioning systems. Despite the cost benefits and leverage from their massed buying power, the companies still keep each other at arm’s length. More recently, however, the two have managed to maintain a healthy rivalry while seeking mutually beneficial ventures together.
While Duesmann didn’t say if the company would update its savings goals, BMW Group has been obsessively trying to find ways to cut parts costs and improve quality over the last ten years. The tentative parts relationship with Daimler has helped address those issues, and has remained in place even after Norbert Reithofer stepped down as company chairman. Expanding its cooperative buying with Stuttgart is one of the simplest ways cut costs and nurture a more positive relationship between the German manufacturers.
“It’s not been fully exploited; there are regular talks and we are discussing jointly purchasing more components,” Markus Duesmann said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Duesmann claims BMW will need to purchase much more software over the next few years for its electric cars, and would be open to leaving Samsung. Considering that it took years for the company to line up all of the suppliers it needed for the i3, BMW says it sees a usefulness in an open and routine dialog.
“We are in talks with all the major manufacturers and will make a decision for each model generation,” he told Reuters.
[Image: BMW Group]
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Daimler...does not play nice. As they displayed when raping and disemboweling Chrysler. Marriage turned into corporate white-slavery; and that turned into dismemberment. I can see how this would go. The few surviving models would get D-B "improvements" a la Chrysler's 2000-era lineup; the BMWs would be cheapened, patents and basic designs would be modded to become Mercedes products. The motorcycle line would be sold to Chinese investors...who have the moving truck for the tooling and designs, standing by. What part would remain intact with Daimler? The bank accounts.