Mass Matrimony For Carmakers?

The recently announced takeover of Britain's Rover Group by Germany's BMW is goading the big European auto giants to team up in some way in the next few years, whether through mergers or strategic alliances. The Rover deal makes BMW more of a threat, doubling its European market share to 6.4%. Added pressure comes from inroads made by Japanese rivals. London-based consultant Karl Ludvigsen says Europe's biggest producers must each boost their shares to 20% to 25%, up from 10% to 16% now, to remain strong global competitors. Hence, new couplings will be necessary.

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