Intel has announced a wide-reaching agreement with BMW Group today, in a move that will see Intel technology permeate the popular car firm.
The headline is that Intel will be the Official Corporate Partner of the BMW Sauber Formula 1 team for 2006, meaning that the new team will have Intel logos splashed all over the car. BMW, who have previously been working with the Williams F1 team, acquired the popular Sauber Petronas team in June this year. This one is a direct response, we think, to AMD's sponsorship of the Ferrari F1 team.
Intel technology will also power the paddock, with top-notch systems working to benefit the team's performance.
Intel will also be working with BMW in consumer cars, too. The pair have announced plans to develop a joint specification for integrating portable devices with BMW cars. This will mean that any phone or MP3 player or PDA supporting the new standard will be able to interface seamlessly with all BMW vehicles. This one is a kick in the teeth to Apple, who have previously made a lot of noise about the class-leading integration of the iPod and BMW cars. Although, since Intel and Apple are friends now, maybe it's all part of a larger, extremely cunning plan.
Intel PCs will also be used in dealerships and BMW offices worldwide, with corporate BMW notebooks all going Centrino.
Eric Kim, who is Chief Marketing Officer at Intel, said that:
"Intel’s technology and BMW’s prowess in the automotive sector are a powerful combination. Intel and BMW intend to collaborate heavily on the IT technology and marketing side as our brands are very synergistic. With Intel as Official Corporate Partner of the BMW Sauber F1 Team, the Intel brand will reach hundreds of millions of passionate fans worldwide each year – fans who appreciate the critical role that technology plays in Formula One. Intel will infuse the BMW Sauber F1 Team with its technology – technology that we believe will support the team’s performance"
Following up, BMW's Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göschel said:
"For both companies, technological leadership is a fundamental goal. Our methods of systematically turning ideas into innovative products will be excellently supported and complemented by Intel’s innovative technology and highly efficient solutions."
Marketing fluff, but interesting stuff nonetheless.
So, what do you make of Intel's support? We actually heard a rumour this was going to happen a long while back, so we're not surprised that this has come to fruition. With Formula 1 going under some big changes next year, it could be the most exciting year yet, and a great time for Intel to jump in.
Drop us your thoughts in the forum.