Some news on the cooperation and partnership front. The latest talk about bedfellows concerns BMW and Hyundai – according to reports, the two companies are supposedly discussing a possible tie-up in engine development and other areas. Talks are at an early stage, said a source close to the matter.

Automobil Produktion, a German industry publication, had reported last week that Chung Euisun, Hyundai chairman Chung Mongkoo’s son, met top BMW personnel in Munich to discuss sharing engine development costs.

The sum reportedly goes to the tune of one to two billion euros. Another source said that both parties had been discussing a comprehensive alliance, including jointly developing an engine and sharing development costs equally.

The need to meet requirements of stricter European Union carbon-emission norms in 2020 means companies have to spend considerably in research and development of new conventional and alternative energy powertrains.

In addressing the tie-up talk, BMW dismissed the speculation it might look to add another technology partner beyond Peugeot, Toyota and possibly General Motors, with chief executive Norbert Reithofer telling reporters that further cooperation partners are currently not foreseen.

A Hyundai Motor spokesman added there were no alliance talks or meetings between senior company officials, stating the speculation was groundless.

Meanwhile, analysts said some form of tie-up with Hyundai would be beneficial to BMW, since its 1.6 million vehicle sales base limits its scale compared to Audi, which can share development costs with parent company VW.