Customers trialling the new electric MINI around the world don’t want to give them back, the company says. BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer said today: “Some drivers have told me they would love to keep their MINI E. We will follow this trial next year with a customer test fleet based on the current study with the BMW Concept ActiveE which will be built at our Leipzig plant.”
Concept ActiveE was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in January.
The MINI E test fleet has been on the road in markets around the world since the middle of last year.
Reithofer said that MINI has successfully established a premium brand in the small car market. “MINI is not a miniature version of another model series. MINI is, and will remain, the original – with a signature face, a unique tradition and over 1.5 million fans around the world.
“We expect the small premium segment to grow between 4 and 6 per cent a year from now until 2020 and there are not too many offers in the market right now so we will progress with both BMW and MINI .”
Reithofer revealed that BMW is exploring the possibility of developing a joint architecture for the front and four-wheel-drive systems of these cars.
“In other worlds there will be front wheel drive BMWs in the small car segment. We intend to grow profitably in this segment as well.”
A front wheel drive model, he said, will be positioned below the current 1 Series model. This will be in addition to the forthcoming Mega City all-electric city car.
This model will share a platform with MINI .