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Jaguar Land Rover and BMW team up on electric cars

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Car of the Year 2019 winner, Jaguar I-Pace, on show at Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland held on 4 March. Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Germany’s BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India’s Tata Motors, announced today that they will partner up to develop electric-car technology and produce electric cars.

BMW said today that joining forces with Jaguar Land Rover would help the carmakers to speed up development times and bring new vehicles and technologies to market more quickly. The partnership would also allow for shared development costs and economies of scale from joint purchasing.

“The automotive industry is undergoing a steep transformation,” said BMW management board member Klaus Fröhlich. “We see collaboration as a key for success, also in the field of electrification.”

BMW said there will be a team of BMW and Jaguar Land Rover experts based in Munich, who will work on developing the next generation electric drive units, but drivetrain production would be done separately by the companies, at their own plants.

"The pace of change and consumer interest in electrified vehicles is gathering real momentum and it's essential we work across industry to advance the technologies required to deliver this exciting future," said Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover's head of engineering.

The furious race towards electric cars and shared mobility is forcing carmakers to team up with former rivals, as well as forging new partnerships with tech companies. BMW and rival Daimler have already joined forces to merge their DriveNow and Car2Go sharing platforms, and are looking at cooperating on autonomous vehicles.

BMW, like its competitors, is investing billions into electrifying model lineups. CEO Harald Krueger said in March that the carmaker aimed to have 500,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads by the end of this year. BMW announced a €12bn (£10.6bn) cost cutting program in March.

READ MORE: BMW pledges to save €12bn, but keep workforce steady and launch more e-cars