Saab has officially announced the start of a business relationship with BMW, signing an agreement today that will see the German automaker supply the Swedish company with powertrains for future products. In particular, BMW will supply Saab with turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engines, designed to meet Saab’s specific requirements. These would be the same engines that BMW currently uses in models like the MINI Cooper S, Clubman S and Countryman S – as well as John Cooper Works models.
There’s no official word on what the engines will be used for, but Saab Spyker CEO Victor Muller has made it clear he is looking to develop a rival to the MINI Cooper (possibly named the 9-2), and certain reports have even suggested Saab will also buy the current MINI platform off BMW to use
The move by BMW is a clever strategy to sell off its “used” engine technology as BMW is believed to be developing a new line of turbocharged 3-cylinder to produce similar power with significantly better fuel economy than the current turbo 4-cylinder line.
There also remains a possibility that Saab could use the new BMW engines for the 9-3 – at least in Europe.
Official release after the jump:
SAAB AUTOMOBILE AND BMW ENTER AGREEMENT FOR SUPPLY OF GASOLINE ENGINES
Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 29 September 2010. Spyker Cars N.V. (“the Group”), a holding company that owns subsidiaries which produce and sell premium automobiles under the Saab and Spyker brands, is listed on Eurolist by NYSE Euronext Amsterdam (ticker symbol SPYKR).
Today, Saab Automobile and BMW announced an agreement for the supply of engines to be used in next-generation Saab vehicles. Under the purchase, supply and development agreement, BMW will supply Saab with 4-cylinder 1.6 liter turbocharged gasoline engines from 2012. The engines will be adapted to meet Saab’s specific requirements.
The contract was signed on Wednesday in Trollhättan, Sweden. Participating in the signing were Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile Chairman Victor Muller and Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing.
Announcing the deal, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson said: “It gives me great pleasure to confirm this exciting new relationship. BMW’s engines and their fuel savings innovations are widely regarded as a benchmark in the premium segment. We look forward to integrating this technology into our next-generation vehicles in a true Saab way.”
Victor Muller, Chairman of Saab Automobile, said: “This is a major step for Saab on our road to becoming a profitable independent premium car maker. In line with our strategy, we will continue to capitalize on our own engineering expertise while also working with the very best partners. Both parties are open to explore further opportunities as part of this relationship in the future.”
Ian Robertson, Executive Sales and Marketing Director of BMW, added: “We are continuing to expand our powertrain system sales business worldwide as planned as part of our Strategy Number ONE. Today’s agreement marks another important milestone along this route. We are delighted to support Saab with our engine expertise. Our engines have a clear lead over the competition when it comes to fuel consumption, emissions and performance.”