BMW Sued for Industrial Espionage by France’s Bolloré Group

The French group that operates Paris’ electric car sharing scheme Autolib’ has filed a criminal complaint against BMW, accusing the German carmaker of industrial espionage.

Bolloré Group, which is one of the most important industrial conglomerates in France, said BMW used spies to gather information on its electric cars, which are co-developed with Pininfarina.

Bolloré said two employees of a company working for BMW were seen three times tampering with charging points and Autolib’ vehicles parked in Paris. A spokesman for Autolib’ told news agency AFP that the company is not aware of what type of information the alleged spies have been able to gather or the technologies they have used.

“All we can say is that Bolloré is ahead in several technologies in which we have invested a lot of money, including the battery and the geo-location system,” Autolib’ spokesman Jules Varin said.

BMW responded that the two workers were employed by engineering firm P3 to prepare the launch for the BMW i3 EV and that they were “conducting routine tests carried out across Europe to check the compatibility of charging points on public roads.”

The two men were found tampering with a Bolloré Bluecar on August 21 in a charging point in Paris’ 9th district. Autolib’ staff questioned them and they replied they worked for a German carmaker. They didn’t specify the name of the company, but were driving a BMW car with German plates. They were spotted again the next day at another charging point, but Autolib’ staff could not catch them. However, on September 5 they were apprehended in the 7th district and arrested.

BMW said they had ordered the tests the two were seen doing in the first two cases, but not on the day they were arrested. In separate news, Bolloré is said to have reached an agreement with Renault that would allow the carmaker to use its charging stations and batteries, as well as Bolloré’s lithium-metal-polymer technology to design a vehicle.

By Dan Mihalascu

Story References: Reuters



Want To See The C8 Corvette Up Close? Go To Detroit On July 27

If you’re not invited to the official unveiling, you can wait 9 days – but it’ll cost you 65 bucks.

Pickup Design Creates The Perfect Bike Rack For The Mercedes X-Class

The stylish rack comes with an appropriately, for a Benz, steep price – namely, $5.6k.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Shooting Brake Hauls More Than Just Groceries Thanks To 415 HP

The high-performance wagon can rocket from 0-62 mph in just 4.0 seconds.

Buick’s Working On A New Crossover To Slot Between The Envision And Enclave

Buick is gearing up to launch its own version of the GMC Acadia and it could borrow the Envoy name.

2020 Subaru Legacy And Outback Get Minor Price Hike Ahead Of Their Launch This Fall

The redesigned models can be equipped with a new turbocharged engine that produces 260 hp.

Porsche Wants To Fight Carsickness With… VR Entertainment System?

The tech developed with start-up Holoride could become the in-car entertainment system of the future.

Lexus On Schedule To Launch Its Latest Autonomous Tech Next Year

Lexus also says that, moving forward, all of its models will be offered with electrified powertrains.

High-Performance Cadillac CT4- And CT5-V Could Use Carryover Engines

A new report suggests the cars will have a twin-turbo V6 and a supercharged 6.2-liter V8.

Honda’s Working On Sporty Rear-Wheel Drive EVs With A 50:50 Weight Distribution

The company’s new BEV architecture will be launched by 2025 and underpin everything from crossovers to sedans.

Is The Subaru BRZ tS Making A Comeback In The U.S. For The 2020MY?

The tS was first introduced for the 2018 model year with visual changes and a sportier chassis .