French Bolloré Group Sues BMW for Industrial Espionage image

Bolloré Group, which operates the electric car sharing scheme Autolib in Paris, has sued BMW for industrial espionage.

Bolloré Group, known as one of the biggest French industrial conglomerates, said that the German automaker used spies to get its hands on information on the company’s electric vehicles, which have been co-developed with Paninfarina. According to Bolloré two employees from a company collaborating with BMW have been spotted several times while tampering with charging points, as well as the Autolib’ vehicles that were parked in Paris.

The Autolib’ spokesman said that the company does not know what kind of information the two employees have managed to gather or what technologies they have used for this purpose.

“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 said that the two persons work for the P3 firm which prepares the BMW i3 EV launch. What they were doing was to conduct ‘routine tests carried out across Europe to check the compatibility of charging points on public roads.’ The two men were seen on August 21st and 22nd tampering with cars in two different Paris districts. On September 5th they were arrested in the 7th district.

The German automaker said that it has ordered the two men to undergo the tests on August 21st and 22nd, but not on the day they have been arrested.