BMW is seen to be taking huge strides as it creates a new family of modular gasoline and diesel engines to be used in up to 1.5 million of its cars a year. CEO Norbert Reithofer said that BMW has never done this at this scale before.
What makes this number so daunting is the realization that it is more than 200,000 units more than the total global sales for BMW Group's three brands last year.
Last March 18, Reithofer informed analysts that the family of three-, four- and six-cylinder engines is mainly for BMW's new front-wheel-drive architecture, but the powerplants will also be used in the automaker's rear-wheel-drive cars. Reithofer declined to say when BMW aims to attain the 1.5-million-unit-a-year goal for the engines.
BMW is actually targeting sales of 2 million BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars by 2020. In 2009, the BMW Group sold 1,286,310 cars, about 400,000 vehicles of which are composed of small and compact cars.
In addition, BMW announced plans to begin using a new fwd architecture. Reithofer says the architecture will underpin 700,000 to 1 million cars a year starting in 2014 or 2015.
The third-generation Mini hatchback, which is due in 2014, will be the first car to use the new platform. This will be followed by a BMW that is positioned below the brand's entry-premium 1-series line, which will keep its rwd layout.
Presently, all BMW models are rear-wheel drive, all Mini variants are front-wheel drive and the sister brands don't share any architectures. Reithofer revealed that the BMW brand will soon have more than one fwd model available. Reithofer didn't share details because he didn't want Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn to get a whiff of this information.