BMW's CEO, Norbert Reithofer, announced that a new department has been setup, codenamed Project i, which will be focusing on designing minicars. Their main focus will be on complying with the strict emission requirements. He has also hinted that there is a possibility that a fourth brand could be formed, but nothing it's certain at this point:
First of all, we must define what type of vehicles we will produce then we will ask the question if those concepts fit better with the BMW brand, the Mini brand or a sub brand within those two. If none of these options are possible then perhaps we will have a fourth brand
Mr. Reihofer also wanted to make clear that this a long term project and the newly formed Project i will be ready to present solutions sometimes before 2015.
Last week, we have also announced that BMW is considering developing an electric car before 2012.