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BMW to Retain Hybrid Car Research as Peugeot Venture Ends

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s biggest luxury-car maker, intends to continue hybrid-vehicle research on its own as it holds talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen about breaking up a joint venture.

Operations of the BMW Peugeot Citroen Electrification partnership, established in October to develop, purchase and produce electric powertrains and components, will be retained by BMW, Micaela Sandstede, a spokeswoman for the Munich-based carmaker, said by telephone.

“Whether that means the joint venture’s employees move to BMW is undecided,” Sandstede said. “We are still in discussions with PSA over the dismantling of the joint venture.”

BPCE comprises a research and development center in Munich and a manufacturing plant in Mulhouse, France, where 250 workers would be employed to electrify about 10,000 vehicles starting in 2015. BMW and Paris-based Peugeot said on June 21 that they were looking at the venture’s future after General Motors Co. bought a stake in the French carmaker.

The German manufacturer signed a memorandum of understanding on June 29 with Toyota Motor Corp., the maker of the Prius hybrid car, to collaborate on the development of fuel cells, lightweight materials and electric powertrains.

BMW will buy Peugeot’s 50 percent stake in BPCE, France’s La Tribune newspaper reported today.

Pierre-Olivier Salmon, a Peugeot spokesman, declined to comment.

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