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.


British fashion linchpin gets post-lockdown trading lift

Updated 9 min 4 sec ago

British fashion linchpin gets post-lockdown trading lift

  • Primark ‘back to business’ as curbs ease, but still faces full-year profit slump

LONDON: Trading in British fashion chain Primark’s reopened stores has been encouraging, but the prolonged coronavirus lockdown means the retailer’s full-year profit is likely to slump by about two-thirds, owner Associated British Foods said.

All 375 Primark stores were shuttered in March as the pandemic spread. As governments eased lockdown restrictions the stores reopened, including all 153 stores in England on June 15.

AB Foods said on Thursday that since the reopening of the first Primark stores on May 4, cumulative sales for the seven weeks to June 20 were £322 million ($403 million) and were 12 percent lower than last year on a like-for-like basis.

It said sales in the week ended June 20, with more than 90 percent of selling space reopened, were £133 million, and trading in England and Ireland was ahead of the same week last year.

“We’re really getting back to business here. That number (down 12 percent) is much better than people were expecting,” AB Foods finance chief John Bason told Reuters.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Primark like-for-like sales down 12 percent in seven weeks.
  • Primark’s annual profit seen down by two-thirds.
  • Placed £800m of orders for autumn/winter season.

However, the lockdown means Primark’s profit will be substantially down. The retailer has no online offer.

For the full 2019-20 year, Primark forecast adjusted operating profit in a range of £300-£350 million, down from the £913 million made in 2018-19.

Bason said that Primark has also placed more than £800 million of orders for the autumn/winter season and expects the total to exceed £1 billion.

AB Foods said that overall group revenue from continuing businesses for the 40 weeks to June 20 was 13 percent lower than the same period last year at constant currency.

For 2019-20 it expects “strong progress” in adjusted operating profit at its sugar, grocery, agriculture and ingredients businesses.

The grocery division, whose brands include Kingsmill bread, Twinings tea, Ovaltine and Jordans cereal, had a 9 percent increase in third-quarter revenue, with higher sales through retail channels more than offsetting weaker demand from foodservice businesses closed during the lockdown.

The group expects to end the year with net cash of more than £750 million.