In a statement released to the press today, Ian Robertson, BMW board member responsible for sales and marketing, says that BMW and MINI will expand their offerings with six to nine new compact class cars.

“We want to grow in the premium small car and compact segment with the BMW and Mini,” explains Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sales and marketing.” The logical step is therefore the extension down to a compact car family called UKL (lower compact car) that there is currently not offered by BMW and Mini.

“We think about six to nine new vehicles based on this UKL architecture , so a product family that will expand our offerings in the arena of small and compact cars.” When asked if BMW will offer a van-like vehicle, BMW executive replied: “We have analyzed in great detail where there is still room for more models.”

First lineup to be based on the new UKL architecture is the next generation MINI. Dubbed F56, similar to the nomenclature used by BMW vehicles, the third-generation MINI will come to market in 2013. The UKL-based vehicles will sit below the 1 Series family. This product family aims to offer similar technical options for different body types.

While not confirmed, we suspect that the first BMW vehicle to emerge under the new architecture is the long-time rumored BMW Z2, a smaller, premium roadster with a front-wheel drive setup.

[Source: BimmerToday ]