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      09-16-2006, 01:04 AM   #23
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      09-16-2006, 01:05 AM   #24

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It's all about what technologies (platform, engine, facilities, etc) can BMW gain access to, and what market segments can BMW reach via AM. In other words, can BMW make AM profitable enough that it's worth risk?

AM build everything from the Vantage to the Rapide on the Ford VH platform, which is clever and cost effective, but IMO useless for an advanced group like BMW. In the engine department, AM uses 2 engines: the ancient V12 which is basically 2 Ford Duratec V6s linked together, and the V8 which is a 10-year old Jaguar AJV8. Ford owns the rights to both engines, so BMW will have to either buy engine supply or spend money on re-engineering. AM's biggest attraction is its Gaydon facilities, which are new and state of the art. However, the production facility was built with only the VH platform in mind, so it's only good for AM production. Not to mention BMW don't need any additional facilities.

Latest reports indicate that Ford want $2B for AM, that's an awful lot. All that money and work, all BMW will get is a bunch of coupes that could potentially compete against their own products (V8 M3 vs AMV8, DB9 vs M6, DBS vs future Z10), and a sedan that was created to steal sales from the M5. So no, I don't think AM is a good buy for BMW.

There are rumors that Prodrive is in the talk with Ford, or AM might want to pay themselves off. Both are more likely to happen than BMW chiming in.

EDIT: Well, here's the latest: Ford agreed to sell AM to luxury goods group LVMH (of Luis Vuitton). You guys ready for AMs with a twist of Frenchness?

Last edited by maq; 09-16-2006 at 01:25 AM.
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