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BMW considers green brand

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BMW may launch an exclusively green brand to supplement its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce marques. The green brand would sell ecologically friendly vehicles of a kind considered too extreme to sit comfortably within the company's existing ranges. "We cannot take the blue out of BMW and change it to green," said sales and marketing director Stefan Krause in an interview with trade journal Automotive News. "Maybe we could add a fourth brand."

BMW is already doing more than most marques to green its vehicles with its so-called Efficient Dynamics programme that has seen the introduction of various technologies to much of its existing range, including engine stop/start, regenerative braking and aerodynamic aids. But BMW may be considering more extreme technologies and vehicle types that would sit more easily with a new brand rather than BMW, whose exclusively rear-wheel drive models are less efficient than front-drive vehicles, or with the quirkier Mini range.

BMW first hinted at the possibility of creating a new marque last September, but has only now added some detail to its thinking. Part of its motivation will be to use the new marque to improve the average CO2 emissions of its entire range, the European Union threatening fines for manufacturers that fail to meet its forthcoming CO2 reduction targets.