In what may sound like design heresy, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer stated at the automaker's annual financial results press conference in Munich that the next generation of BMW's smaller vehicle lines will be built off of a new platform designed to accommodate both front-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. This upcoming architecture also will be used on the upcoming generation of MINI-branded vehicles, which are expected to arrive in the 2013-2014 time window.

In addition to broadening its lineup of larger-size premium vehicles, Reithofer confirmed that BMW plans a focused expansion of into the realm of smaller vehicles, where he sees solid and sustained growth potential for both the BMW and MINI model offerings. A key element in the future plans for all of its vehicles will be to expand the use of modular manufacturing kits wherever possible, a move that will reduce production costs without compromising overall quality. That approach has particularly critical implications in the sub-compact and mini-compact categories.

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