TOKYO -- Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said today that cooperation talks with BMW and other automakers are still in progress.
The head of the German premium carmaker said Daimler is interested in cooperating with partners in the entry-premium segment, but also in other segments.
Zetsche said he had been in discussions with a whole range of competitors, including BMW. Cooperation could focus on components such as steering and axles, but it could also be in powertrains or engines, he said in a group interview at the Tokyo auto show.
The Daimler chief confirmed that discussions with archrival BMW are not concluded. He declined to comment on the state of talks with Fiat. He also said any talks about specific cooperative ventures would be concluded in the near term. In an indication that conclusions could be reached early next year, he said this year would be "a bit tight."
Zetsche stressed that cooperation is not essential for the success of the next generation of its A class and B class models. A cooperation would be a nice add-on, he said.
He said it was unlikely that the company would enter into a platform cooperation for the next B class model. He also noted that a potentially negative byproduct of partnerships is the increased complexity of sharing modules as well as difficulties in preserving partners brand identities.
Cooperation is no panacea, said Zetsche. But you have to look at it.
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