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As expected, the recently adjusted U.S. CAFE requirements have put pressure on automakers. Specifically brands focused on performance and luxury must do the most to change their impact on the environment. One company that falls into this category is BMW. Last September CEO Norbert Reithofer hinted that the possible creation of a forth brand to mesh with BMW, Rolls-Royce and MINI is in the company's longterm plans through 2020. However, no specific details were uncovered until recently. The German manufacturer has come forward to state it is feeling the fuel economy crunch. If established a fourth brand would offer fuel sipping front-wheel drive vehicles that do not necessarily fit in with other current brand options. While the BMW lineup has dabbled with hydrogen power and features a range of diesel solutions, executives do not want to taint its performance image.

The resort to an additional brand comes after analyzing a few more simple solutions. The possibility of a MINI transformation into an economy image was dropped due to fear of hurting the unique automobile's design appeal with too many models (although somehow they decided it's a good idea to make a MINI SUV). The BMW Group has also shot down the possibility of purchasing any brands currently up for sale by other manufacturers, since none meet their green image needs. They have also passed over the notion of revitalizing a dead brand, like Triumph or Riley, which are BMW owned. So what's on the horizon? That's open to debate, but a fourth brand strictly focused on fuel economy and emissions is a distinct possibility.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know if any of you saw the Isetta ( http://www.conceptcarsmag.com/cars/bmw-pod-bmw-isetta/ )concept pics not to long ago but I thought the design was dynamite. I think that would be a great addition to the BMW stable. Maybe it wouldn't be a powerhouse but they could tune the suspension perfectly and have a real hit on their hands.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW already makes a 46 mpg (US) 5-series and a 50 mpg 3-series. Under the mini brand, they have the 60 mpg Cooper S.

      What would their eco brand be for?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think BMW is losing their way. Yes they are still making , but most people focus on BMW design I look more critically at the product. X6 and Mini SUV as prime examples. They have Mini which is inherently fuel efficient and thus"greener" than most brands out there, especially the premium brands. Why not bring over the Mini D or how about a super efficient Mini with 1.4 liter engine from PSA? Mini could easily be positioned as a green brand without much effort. To start a new brand which will undoubtedly would be a premium brand, since that is all BMW knows how to make is just dumb. Why compete against yourself? They certainly can't against Honda, Mazda etc and expect to make money. BMW does not know how to build a mainstream car, look what happened when they owned Rover.
        • 7 Years Ago
        many good things - just a bit more time and they had Rover fixed.
      • 7 Years Ago

      What about using the Austin or Morris brands?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just saw that 7series on I-10 in Louisiana heading west this past weekend sharing some space w/ a truckload of Suzukis.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know about BMW...but for the same reasons discussed in this posting, perhaps GM should give a passing thought to reviving Geo?
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW should revitalize the Yugo brand name then. I, for one, would like to see the V-12 in one of them mutha's. It's fun to think out loud on the keyboard.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      i really like bmw as a company. They seem to react quickly to change and offer cars that people want. I was a VAG fan for the longest time but they just seem to perpetually play catch up. Small fuel efficient 4x4 is what i have been looking for and viola mini suv, and VW offers nothing but a mid 20s standard cuv with a slushbox.

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