* BMW CEO says investments in autonomous electric cars steep
* Says company large enough to fund investments on its own
* Says consolidation among smaller players possible
(Adds CEO comments on consolidation)
GENEVA, March 7 BMW CEO Harald Krueger
said the big investments needed for next-generation drivetrains
and digital business models were likely to spur further
consolidation in the wake of PSA Group's purchase of
Opel from General Motors.
"The investments that are needed and whether every company
has the resources ... remains to be seen," Krueger told
journalists at the Geneva motor show.
"For everybody the challenge is huge, with the focus on
electro-mobility, digitalisation and autonomous driving," he
"We are large enough that we can fund our future investment
needs on our own," Krueger said, adding smaller companies may
need to find new partners, a step that could lead to more deals.
But takeovers and mergers are difficult to pull off, he
"The backbone of a successful cooperation is creating a real
win-win for both companies. It needs to happen within a
reasonable time-frame. It will not work when one party profits
from the deal after two years, and the other only after eight
BMW's engineers in Munich are working on a new electric Mini
which could be built in Germany, the Netherlands or the United
Kingdom in the wake of Britain's exit from the European Union,
"It can be produced in several locations because of the
vehicle architecture," Krueger said at a roundtable discussion
at the Geneva show.
BMW is looking at Oxford in England, Born, the Netherlands
and Leipzig and Regensburg in Germany as potential production
locations, he said, adding a decision would be taken this year.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Victoria Bryan and Mark