In a strange twist we missed a recent Automotive News piece interviewing BMWNA CEO Jim O ‘Donnell. In this interview, he discusses the new 528xi coming this fall as well as the new 6 Series but buried in the interview is probably the most interesting bit of news.
Auto News Question: “In the overall luxury market, do you see movement toward more fuel-efficient vehicles? Do you see buyers dropping down in segments: 7 series to 5 series, 5 series to 3 series?
O ‘Donnell Answer: “I don ‘t see that. I see us giving the consumer greater choice of electric cars, hybrids, diesels, four-cylinder, six-cylinder, eight-cylinder and ultimately 12-cylinder engines. What we are doing is adding to our choice. We are adding new products at the bottom end, maybe at the top end as well, but volume-wise at the bottom end, where it will enable us to improve our overall average miles per gallon. “
Auto News Question: “You ‘re talking further out with the small cars? ”
O ‘Donnell Answer: “Yes, the 2014 and 2015 period with the front-drive cars. But what I do see happening is that the premium segment will expand. At the New York auto show, Mercedes-Benz was showing the A class. We will be expanding into new niches. The consumer will be spoiled for choice. “
Was he talking about BMW in general coming to market with FWD cars or more specifically to the US? In the remainder of the interview he discusses only the US market so it can be taken from this interview that the FWD model will indeed be coming to the US. This isa new revelation to us here at BF and seems to go against what others sources have been insinuating for a good deal of time. One way or another MINI will have some new competition and will not be the only FWD car that can handle on the black anymore.