Back in 1997, the Chrysler Group and Rover (then a subsidiary of BMW) formed a partnership to develop a compact four-cylinder engine for a range of new small cars. The Tritec joint venture was born, which soon saw the development of an engine factory at a site in Brazil. After BMW sold-off its Rover subsidiary in 2000, the German carmaker retained its share of Tritec to source small engines for its Mini label. Versions of the Tritec motor are also used in the Chrysler PT Cruiser and China's Chery A15.
Come July 1st, BMW will hand over its share of the Tritec project to DaimlerChrysler, which will then pass on full control to the Chrysler Group when the two officially split later this year. BMW has been using a new four-cylinder engine in its latest Mini that it developed with the help of the Peugeot Citroen PSA Group.
The Chrysler Group, on the other hand, is reported to be keen on selling Tritec, with a Chinese manufacturer the most likely customer, reports Automobil Industrie. The four-cylinder engine developed by BMW and Chrysler would help the Chinese manufacturers meet European and US emissions standards as the engine is already in full compliance. However, if no buyer is found, Chrysler may also close the plant.