In a move that has been expected for over five years, BMW has officially sold its stake in Tritec Motors to DaimlerChrysler. With enough Tritec engines in storage to last through the end of R52 production (late 2008) the time was apparently right for BMW to shed the plant.
Look for DaimlerChrysler (soon to be just Daimler) to make a quick sale. As reported on MotoringFile last winter, the current rumor is that several Chinese automakers are interested in either the plant or the raw materials and know-how to produce the engines in Asia. Currently the only other car (beyond Euro versions of the PT Cruiser) that uses the Tritec engine is the Chinese built Chery A105 sedan.
Here’s the official BMW Group press release:
The BMW Group has transferred its shares in Tritec Motors Limitada to DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group effective as of July 11, 2007. The companies – who each held half of the shares in the Brazilian engine plant – have agreed not to divulge the details of the transaction, which is subject to administrative registration and regulatory approval. Chrysler Group has assumed the responsibility for exploring long-term options for the Tritec operations whereby all possible alternatives for continuing the business for the long run are under analysis. This may include a sale of the facility to a third-party.
Tritec Motors was founded in 1997 by the BMW Group and the Chrysler Group for the production of 1.4 and 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engines. The engine plant is located in the town of Campo Largo in the region of Curitiba, in the Federal State of ParanÃƒÂ¡, southern Brazil. Large-scale series production started in January 2000; the plant’s annual production capacity is around 250,000 units.