"There are clear limits. The BMW brand, which one study has valued at $24 billion, must not be diluted or the brand identity damaged," news agency Reuters quoted BMW's Norbert Reithofer as saying to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview.
Apparently, the brand image is not worth risking for the sake of cutting costs. His statement came after Daimler's CEO Dieter Zetsche said he wanted BMW to be Daimler's "equal partner".
"It's clear that we are two independent companies whose success in the market depends of the strength of our brands, so brand integrity is a cardinal imperative. This has to be considered at all times but it is not something that would prevent broad cooperation," Daimler's CEO said last week.
As a quick reminder, BMW and Daimler are already working together, but to a limited extent. The two German manufacturers are pursuing an agreement for collaboration in the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA). They jointly purchase more than 100 components and they share specialization in rear-wheel-drive cars.
Judging by the two CEO's statements, it's obvious that they have slightly different agendas, with Daimler being quite eager to shake hands with BMW. The other German manufacturer is not exactly keen on starting a partnership with the company that was one step away from taking it over completely.