At the start of 2018, a report suggested the BMW Group was considering co-developing a new platform with Great Wall Motors, and running its next-generation Mini range on these underpinnings. Now this rumour has resurfaced, with a new report out of the United Kingdom claiming the Mini brand’s future is still “up in the air”.
According to Autocar, the BMW Group has delayed plans for a next-generation Mini line-up (until at least 2023) and is “radically” rethinking the marque. The publication added that sources claimed this simplified next-gen range would not include a three-door hatchback nor a cabriolet.
Autocar also suggested that the German group was still considering teaming up with GWM, pointing out that the two firms already shared a joint venture in China, which would soon start production of an electric Mini.
The British publication said BMW could be forced into some sort of platform sharing since its latest FAAR architecture was both too expensive and too large to underpin future Mini products. The UKL platform employed by the current range, of course, is expected to be phased out from 2021.
That earlier report from January suggested BMW would take the lead in terms of engineering the proposed new platform, with GWM then taking care of production of the vehicles – both Mini models and GWM-badged versions – in China.