BMW is to strengthen ties with PSA Peugeot-Citroen according to the German carmaker's chief financial officer Friedrich Eichiner.

He has told Handelsblatt talks with PSA centre around component purchasing. Peugeot already supplies diesel engines for BMW's Mini brand.

Eichiner said BMW was also still working on a purchasing cooperation with Daimler but he cautioned that such efforts should be limited, so as not to threaten the BMW brand.

He said: "We wouldn't do ourselves a favour if the cars looked more and more alike."

Asked about the economic situation, Eichiner said though markets had stabilised, a fresh economic downturn was still possible. BMW has so far refrained from giving an outlook for 2009.

However, Eichiner said he saw a chance to post profits with vehicle sales declines of 10 to 15%. BMW group sales fell 17.7% in the period from January to August.