BMW is hoping to at least maintain market share in the US this year.

BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce took 2.3% of the US market in 2008, according to group sales chief Ian Robertson, selling 303,000 cars – down 10% year on year.

According to a German press agency, Robertson said the company was still considering whether to ask for government guarantees for its in-house bank. Volkswagen has already asked for help for its banks, but all manufacturers are finding it difficult to finance car credit.

Robertson also spoke about deepening ties with Daimler and Fiat. He said the company was still exploring developing a shared small car platform with Fiat [which already has a similar deal with Ford for the Ka on the 500’s platform] but it was too early to reveal anything more about that.

The two companies signed an agreement last July for a partnership to develop cars for the Mini and Alfa Romeo brands.