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BMW and Saab have announced today an agreement for the supply of BMW engines to be used by Saab for its future models. Under the agreement, which covers purchasing, supply and development of new engines, BMW will supply to Saab a four-cylinder 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine from 2012 onwards. The engines will be adapted to meet Saab’s specific requirements.
The contract was signed on Wednesday in Trollhattan, Sweden. Participating in the signing were Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, Saab Chairman Victor Muller and BMW exec Ian Robertson. According to Ake Jonsson, the decision to pick BMW as a partner was due to the German automaker’s leadership in fuel savings innovations in the premium segment.
The next Saab 9-3, due in late 2012, is expected to be the first new generation Saab model to be powered by the BMW engine. Importantly, today’s announcement paves the way for a more significant platform sharing deal, word of which is currently doing the rounds. Saab is expected to launch a brand new 9-2 model and this could ride on the same platform underpinning the MINI Countryman.
BMW has been supplying rival automakers with engines for years. Formerly, BMW worked closely with France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen group to develop a range of small four-cylinder engines, some of which appear in the MINI family, and more recently BMW announced that it would supply America’s Carbon Motors with diesel engines for the E7 police car.