According to the Spiegel magazine Helmut Panke will remain at the helm of BMW beyond his 60th birthday, possibly until 2010.

Normally Panke's contract as chairman of BMW should end when Panke reaches his 60th birthday, meaning he would have to retire at the company's 2007 annual meeting.

dpa-AFX news reports that there has been some speculation and rumour for a few months that Panke would be retained given the success the company has had under his leadership.

Panke succeeded Joachim Milberg as chairman of BMW in 2002, following the sale of Rover.

The Spiegel also reports that BMW is working on a number of new models, including a new small BMW SUV, a two-seater Mini, possibly called Mini-Mini, and an additional Rolls-Royce model with a price tag of EUR250,000.