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Carmakers in hybrid alliance

BMW has united with General Motors and DaimlerChrysler to develop a hybrid powertrain system for cars.

The three have signed a memorandum of understanding to become equal partners in the project.

They are also in discussions with other manufacturers to join the group that will compete with Toyota and Honda, the leading hybrid makers.

"The creation of a shared technology platform for hybrid drives will allow us to more quickly integrate the best technologies on the market and will therefore exploit and strengthen the innovative potential of all participating companies," BMW executive board member Burkhard Goeschel said.

BMW, GM and DaimlerChrysler have said they will develop a 'dual mode' hybrid technology that boosts both acceleration and fuel economy by 25% and can be used on a wide variety of vehicles.

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