BMW partners Jaguar Land Rover to develop electric engine

A BMW I3 electric car charges its battery outside the BMW factory in Leipzig, Germany. (Getty Images)
Updated 05 June 2019

BMW partners Jaguar Land Rover to develop electric engine

  • A joint team will be based in Munich and tasked with developing the next generation electric drive units which BMW will launch together with JLR
  • Like many other traditional carmakers, both BMW and JLR are racing to catch up with US tech giant Tesla which has a head-start in making the cleaner, smarter vehicles of the future

BERLIN: German high-end car giant BMW and British group Jaguar Land Rover announced Wednesday they are teaming up to develop a new generation of electric motors.
A joint team will be based in Munich and tasked with developing the “next generation electric drive units” which BMW will launch together with JLR.
“Cooperation between car manufacturers to share know-how and resources is important” as the automotive industry tackles “the significant technological challenges” posed by the electric cars of the future, said BMW in a statement.
The partnership is for research and development and the engines will be produced “by each partner in their own manufacturing facilities,” BMW said in a statement.
Both groups hope the partnership will reduce development costs at a time when the transition to electric vehicles weighs heavily on manufacturers’ balance sheets.
Like many other traditional carmakers, both BMW and JLR are racing to catch up with US tech giant Tesla which has a head-start in making the cleaner, smarter vehicles of the future.
Pressure is also coming from the EU for the European automotive industry to shift gears to electric engines, as new tougher CO2 emissions limits come into force from 2020.
To meet the high costs shifting away from internal combustion engines, other carmakers have also struck up partnerships.
Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler and Chinese auto giant Geely in March announced plans to develop the next generation of electric Smart cars to be made in China in a joint venture.
JLR last year unveiled an electric Jaguar SUV and is currently carrying out major restructuring in a bid to save £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion, 2.8 billion euros) so as to be able to invest more in electric cars.


Analysts urge Canada to focus on boosting the economy

Updated 06 July 2020

Analysts urge Canada to focus on boosting the economy

  • Canada lost one of its coveted triple-A ratings in June when Fitch downgraded it for the first time

TORONTO: Canada should focus on boosting economic growth after getting pummeled by the COVID-19 crisis, analysts say, even as concerns about the sustainability of its debt are growing, with Fitch downgrading the nation’s rating just over a week ago.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau will deliver a “fiscal snapshot” on Wednesday that will outline the current balance sheet and may give an idea of the money the government is setting aside for the future.

As the economy recovers, some fiscal support measures, which are expected to boost the budget deficit sharply, could be wound down and replaced by incentives meant to get people back to work and measures to boost economic growth, economists said.

“The only solution to these large deficits is growth, so we need a transition to a pro-growth agenda,” said Craig Wright, chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada. The IMF expects Canada’s economy to contract by 8.4 percent this year. Ottawa is already rolling out more than C$150 billion in direct economic aid, including payments to workers impacted by COVID-19.

Further stimulus measures could include a green growth strategy, as well as spending on infrastructure, including smart infrastructure, economists said. Smart infrastructure makes use of digital technology.

“We have to make sure that government spending is calibrated to the economy of the future rather than the economy of the past,” Wright said.

Canada lost one of its coveted triple-A ratings in June when Fitch downgraded it for the first time, citing the billions of dollars in emergency aid Ottawa has spent to help bridge the downturn caused by COVID-19 shutdowns.

Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and DBRS still give Canadian debt the highest rating. At DBRS, Michael Heydt, the lead sovereign analyst on Canada, says his concern is about potential structural damage to the economy if the slowdown lingers too long.

Fiscal policymakers “need to be confident that there is a recovery underway before they start talking about (debt) consolidation,” Heydt said.

Fitch expects Canada’s total government debt will rise to 115.1 percent of GDP in 2020 from 88.3 percent in 2019.

Royce Mendes, a senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said the economy still needs more support.

“Turning too quickly toward austerity would be a clear mistake,” he said.