• Apr 3, 2008
BMW has been kicking ass and taking names in luxury vehicle sales, and the Bavarian Motor mavens hold the top spot in global luxury sales as proof. Even though sales are more than brisk, top management wants to grow profits, and selling the German automaker's silky-smooth engines to its competitors may be part of the profitability plan. Back in February (and last May), news reports out of Germany said team Bimmer was looking for customers for its engines and transmissions, and now we have verification. Friedrich Eichiner, BMW's board member for corporate and brand development, told Automotive News that the company will decide by year end whether to sell its engines to the likes of General Motors, Daimler and Fiat.
For a relatively small company, BMW has a ton of money invested in engine tech, with a full range of turbo-diesel, turbocharged and naturally aspirated petrol offerings. It makes sense for BMW to sell its engines and transmissions to pocket some extra coin, as what makes a BMW an Ultimate Driving Machine is much more than just what's driving it underhood.

[Source: Automotive News - subs. req'd]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Really don't see a negative in this, other than the purchaser applying it to an application which may put the engine in a position were it fails or brings up questions of quality or reliability. I think there's going to be a lot more of this in the future anyway, were car companies are just designers of applications that use parts for other companies. Manufacturers will still have their own lines maybe not as many models but there core service will be part to other companies.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't really consider 4 as "so many".

      I would buy a German car before a Japanses car in a heartbeat. My experience with them has been far more positive.

      Moot point though, since I drive American.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now, if they can figure out how to get the oil level dipstick back on the engine they might be in business. BMW can keep their powerplants, give me a VW/Audi engine any day.


      • 6 Years Ago
      small company? BMW sells as much cars as Mazda or Kia and more as Subaru or Mitsubishi, nerver heard someone call them relative small
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you looked at the updated auto family chart on here a week ago, it drives home that BMW is small (Honda too).

        Of the 4 companies you mention, two only two are their own entities at all. Mazda is a subsidiary of Ford and Kia is owned by Hyundai. That makes them both marques, not makers.

        Subaru 17% owned by Toyota effective this week.

        Mitsubishi is indeed independent, but just because they're a smaller maker than BMW doesn't mean BMW isn't small.

        Find your faves on the chart:
        http://www.autoblog.com/photos/automotive-family-tree-2008/725147/
        • 6 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly. Considering they're one of the only auto groups in the green for sales lately, methinks the blog poster should stfu about small.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hm. Not so sure that this is a hot idea. Don't BMWs use GM transmissions? Why take it even further?
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you think about it it almost makes sense. Jointly developed powertrain. BMW engine and GM trans, saves money for both sides.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "as what makes a BMW an Ultimate Driving Machine is much more than just what's driving it underhood."

        I don't know about this comment. You might think that, but definitely some other people might see it differently. How many times have you heard things like..."That Lexus is just a Toyota with leather?"...or "The Mini is just an overpriced retro hatchback with a Neon engine"?

        Will some people make a similar connection and say "Why would I buy a bangle butt BMW when I can have the same engine in my stylish Saturn 325i?"
        • 6 Years Ago
        They've contracted a few transmissions to GM, most are built by BMW.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't imagine a better way to make money or sabotage your competitors.

      I have known so many people with BMW's that have had "critical failures" I recall picking up my cousin after the water pump on his BMW 328 failed. I know a girl who had her BMW's transmission fail while it was parked at her apartment.

      The list of mechanical failures goes on and on.

      Of course BMW's reliability is awesome compared to Mercedes. I was driving a Mercedes S550(someone else's I might add) last week that failed while I was attempting to make a left hand turn, note that the car only had 27,000 miles.

      My dentist's E-Class literally stopped while she was driving on the freeway. Causing a collision. Fortunately she and her husband survived without any significant injuries.

      I had a Lexus IS 300 for 120,000 miles and the car never failed me after many miles of hard driving.

      Having known so many people who have experienced catastrophic failures with German cars its for me to see how using an components from BMW or Mercedes could be a good thing.

      • 6 Years Ago
      If you recall, the Lincoln Mark VII was available with a BMW straight six TD for a few years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      BMW is buying engines, why not sell them?
      Seems silly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      BMW has nothing to worry about. The act of selling engines to another company can only make the seller look better and the buyer worse. Remember when GM plunked Honda's V6 into the Saturn Vue Red Line? It was a total validation for Honda, and more than a few people took it as an admission by GM that its own engines suck. (Ok, Saturn sort of benefitted because the engine increased the Vue's appeal, but customers who come back later expecting the same quality won't find it.)

      And let's not forget that a BMW engine powered the fastest production car of the 20th century, the McLaren F1. Surely they got a little mileage out of that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Unfortunately, the Vue never had the 3.6, thus making your otherwise brilliant comment irrelevant.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jackass. The GM 3.6 Liter is widely regarded as an excellent motor.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Forvige the typo. Someone re-arranged the keys on my keyboard.

      Face it, an out of warranty German car can become quite an expensive mistress.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would like to see their new dual clutch transmission in the Vette.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If the VW GTI can have a dual-clutch gearbox, then the Vette can have one affordably (in up-front costs).

        I agree about German cars cost a lot to keep running, but I'm not sure dual-clutch gearboxes affect it much. They're expensive to run without a dual-clutch box.
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