BMW aims to reshuffle platform and powertrain ranges

The research and development department at BMW has acquired a new chief, who has been appointed to oversee a huge reshuffle of platform and powertrain ranges. Klaus Froehlich's job is ultimately geared towards keeping the luxury German car maker firmly in front of the rest.

With intense competition from Audi and Mercedes, Mr Froehlich's task for the expansion of engine strategy and platforms will not be an easy one. The company is already the world premium car sales leader and is currently firmly focused on earnings and profit margins rather than unit sales.

The company has made some spectacular decisions lately, not only bringing in the 2-Series Gran and Active Tourer models but also using a front-wheel drive platform. Mr Froehlich has a message for the traditional BMW customer, which is that the rear-wheel drive will still be a big part of the future and front-wheel drive models will be mainly sold in the tough European market. Whether the 1-Series will be part of the front-wheel drive platform is a decision the company has not yet taken.

The new X1 crossover generation has been released on the front-wheel drive platform, which means that it can display a unique and bold design. With both Audi and Mercedes vowing that they will overtake Munich-based BMW before 2020, it appears that the threat has been taken seriously and BMW is determined to keep its nose ahead.