According to Autocar UK, Saab is lining up an audacious bid to buy the rights to the outgoing BMW MINI platform. Despite financial problems ,the Swedish carmaker is moving forward with their plants to build a small car that will compete in the premium compact segment.
After securing a deal to buy MINI’s 1.6-liter turbo engine, Saab is looking to purchase the car platform as well, and the current MINI R56 is a prime candidate. BMW will begin to phase out the current Mini R56-generation platform in late 2012, when the all-new MINI 3, codenamed F56, is launched.
The new MINI 3 is based on a new front-drive platform developed by BMW in Munich and will compete against the Audi A1.
A different source related to Autocar that in 2013 MINI’s Oxford plant will be re-equipped with the new production line to build the MINI 3. Saab would then be able to use the R56 for its own 9-1.
Despite these ambitious plans, Saab continues to struggle financially. Production of the 9-3 and 9-5 has been halted twice in recent weeks, with suppliers alleging that they have not received payment from Saab.