Mike Stevens | Jan 22, 2010

REPORTS FROM EUROPE this morning suggest BMW is looking to cut costs further by partnering up with a rival carmaker on the development of the next-generation MINI platform.

Speaking with industry paper Automotive News, MINI Vice President of Brand Management, Wolfgang Armbrecht said that while the goal is to build "fascinating cars," development costs must be kept down where possible.

"The door is still open," Mr Armbrecht said.

"Today in the car business, you have to create fascinating cars. But, on the other hand, you have to be realistic as far as economics are concerned."

Mr Armbrecht did not offer any hints as to which companies BMW has been speaking with on a possible platform-sharing partnership. However, Fiat/Alfa Romeo has been ruled out.

"After intensive examination, we have determined that cooperation involving the Mini and Alfa Romeo brands with regard to a possible common platform doesn't make any sense," Mr Armbrecht told Automotive News.

Even in the future, a Mini has to drive like a Mini."

BMW currently uses a pair of PSA-sourced diesel and petrol 1.6 litre engines in its MINI line-up, but co-operation between the two companies may expand in the near future if current negotiations go well.

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