By on June 22, 2020

Bavaria-based BMW says it aims to cut roughly 6,000 positions from its lineup on account of coronavirus complications. Times are tough and the manufacturer needs to tighten its belt, just like many of its peers.

The alley-oop that precedes the slam dunking of these jobs into the wastebasket will be tempting retirement packages for those of a certain age. But BMW also said it is interested in offering younger people financial assistance for full-time higher education with a guarantee of a job when they’re done — offering some amount of hope. 

According to the Associated Press, demand wasn’t anywhere near sufficient to maintain all 126,000 members of BMW’s global workforce. The economic slump that’s presumed to travel in COVID-19’s wake will only further strengthen the industry’s need to cut jobs.

Additionally, BMW announced that it will put its cooperative autonomous vehicle development program with Mercedes-Benz on hold. While stated to be temporary, we doubt you’ll be hearing anything about its reclamation any time soon. Don’t think this is about stoking old rivalries, however. Both automakers have said this is a financial matter complicated by the times in which we live. That’s undoubtedly true, especially since AV development is wildly expensive and seems to have hit a speed bump of late, though there’s always a chance the German duo simply weren’t ready to become best buddies.

Officially, the two companies “arrived at a mutual and amicable agreement to concentrate on their existing development paths.” That includes working with current and/or new partners on the technology. However, both manufacturers want to make it perfectly clear that joint cooperation “may be resumed at a later date and that the two [organizations’] underlying approach to matters such as safety and customer benefits in the field of automated driving remains highly compatible.”

From BMW:

The BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG are both working separately on current generations for highly-automated driving and have achieved major progress in this field in the past. However, the BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG were unable to hold detailed expert discussions and talk to suppliers about technology roadmaps until the contract was signed last year. In these talks — and after extensive review — both sides concluded that, in view of the expense involved in creating a shared technology platform, as well as current business and economic conditions, the timing is not right for successful implementation of the cooperation.

“We have systematically further developed our technology and scalable platform with partners like Intel, Mobileye, FCA and Ansys,” said Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “Our current technology generation offers very strong, sustainable potential: With extremely powerful sensors and computing power, our robust modular system puts us in an excellent position to offer our customers what they need for many years.”


[Image: Sklo Studio/Shutterstock]

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