BMW hires Ferrari's former chief engineer to polish tech prowess

Wed Oct 8, 2014 11:47am EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote) has hired Ferrari's former chief engineer as it seeks to strengthen its technical prowess amid intensifying competition with rival German luxury carmakers Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Roberto Fedeli, who joined the Fiat-owned FIA.MI Ferrari brand in 1988 and has been head technician on Ferrari models since 2007, will join BMW in November, a spokesman at the Munich-based company said on Wednesday.

The spokesman did not specify Fedeli's assignment after his move to BMW, which was reported earlier on Wednesday by Automotive News Europe. Automotive News said Fedeli left Ferrari last month.

His departure coincides with the resignation of Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, who will leave the company on Oct. 13 after escalating clashes with Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of parent Fiat, over strategy.

Germany's three leading premium carmakers have been closing ranks this year. Second-placed Audi (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) has narrowed the gap with top-ranked BMW, while third-placed Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE: Quote), owned by Daimler, is enjoying strong demand for new models.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer and Irene Preisinger; Editing by Susan Fenton)

 
A BMW logo is seen the wheel of a car in Mexico City July 3, 2014.  REUTERS/Carlos Jasso