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Geneva Motor Show: BMW reveals new model thinking

BMW is preparing to enter the market for car-style people carriers, the firm's chief said. Speaking at a BMW event ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, Helmut Panke predicted demand for such crossover vehicles would soar in Europe.

In contrast, he said, the popularity of van-style seven-seat vehicles and traditional saloon cars would fade.

"Customers are moving out of the mini-van and traditional concepts are not as attractive anymore. We have decided that BMW will enter the segment," he said in the clearest indication yet about the car maker's intentions.

A decision on just how BMW will manage its entry into the new market is due in the first half of 2005 and it could be 2008 before the vehicle comes to market.

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