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BMW looks at buying other car brands

Logo watch: Dr Reithofer considers adding a fourth brand to BMW's portfolio.

Munich considers the options for adding a fourth brand

BMW logo2 Oct 2007


BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer confirmed last week that the company had recently considered taking over other car-makers and was still open to the concept of acquisitions, but did not name potential targets.

Delivering the BMW Group’s latest corporate strategy, Dr Reithofer also appeared to suggest the Group had considered creating a new brand to sit alongside BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini.

BMW was this year reported to have investigated taking over Volvo, one of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group brands, and is also said to be interested in Alfa Romeo.

“The BMW Group explored all of the options for future growth during the strategic review, including potential acquisitions or the creation of a fourth brand,” the company said in a statement issued last Thursday.

“However, this would require the new automotive brand to be a perfect fit for the company and its strengths.

“Moreover, rising unit figures would have to result in a decline in unit costs and thus lead to economies of scale. The new brand would have to at least make the same positive contribution to earnings as the existing automobile business.

“However, an in-depth analysis found that none of the evaluated automotive brands currently meets these requirements.” Nevertheless, Dr Reithofer went on to say that it does not rule out further acquisitions and that the company was prepared to pounce if the right opportunity arises.

“In principle, we will keep acquisitions on our agenda,” he said.

“We defined clear criteria for potential acquisitions within the scope of our strategic review.

“This will allow us to act swiftly whenever necessary.”

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