So BMW is considering expanding its reach by including a fourth brand, and Rick Kranz, columnist for Automotive News, thinks he has the answer: Triumph. By playing off the retro-chic invasion started with the new MINI, Kranz maintains that there is a place for Triumph, specifically a small, rear-wheel drive ride that could continue the legacy of TRs and Spitfires from the past.

Using the existing platform that underpins the 1-series and selling Triumph at the scores of MINI dealers seems entirely plausible. BMW's got the technology and incorporating Triumph into the MINI's network could ensure dealer profitability into the future. Plus, BMW already owns the name. Either a Spitfire or TR revival could slot in nicely between the MINI and the Z4, but the only rub is that exact niche is where the new 128i and 135i plans to do battle. Expansion is one thing, but brand cannibalization is another – something that's not addressed in Kranz's column.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]