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.
Vehicles such as this and the Mini E are core to BMW’s aim of reducing its CO2 emissions across its range of vehicles by 25 per cent between 2008 and 2020.
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.
“In the future we will generate growth both in the large model segments and in the compact and sub-compact model segments. We will launch more Mini and BMW models and variants.
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“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.