Luxury automobile sales have been hit especially hard during the global economic disaster, and Daimler and BMW may become much closer allies as a result. German magazine Der Spiegel published a report stating that the two luxury giants are working to combine their purchasing power to save hundreds of millions of dollars. But the really interesting cooperation will reportedly happen in the form of a stock swap.
Under the alleged agreement, each company would give the other a 7% stake in the other. The move would strengthen the German automaker's new bond and perhaps lead to further cash-saving collaboration down the road. The magazine reports that the Quandt family, who own 46% of BMW, isn't keen on the idea due to Daimler's 1998 takeover of Chrysler. But the German government has allegedly been contacted to gauge the possibility of overriding any opposition to the deal. Talk of a BMW/Daimler tie up have been circulating for years, but the rumor tree has yet to bear any fruit. Due to the shabby state of the global automotive market, that could change quickly.