Is a new BMW marque on the way? Not content with its current triumvirate of badges - BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce - the German giant has hinted that it may launch an exclusively green brand.
Why? Because 'extreme green' technology doesn't fit too comfortably with the central BMW brand.
"We cannot take the blue out of BMW and change it to green," says BMW marketing director Stefan Krause. "Maybe we could add a fourth brand."
Although BMW has already introduced stop-start technology, regenerative braking and clean diesel engines across its range, a green marque would allow it to pursue more radical eco-measures: measures that would compromise the BMW image.
A separate green brand would also help BMW to improve fleet CO2 emissions. The European Union has recently proposed fining manufacturers that exceed CO2 targets across their range - a move strongly opposed by German manufacturers.