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>BMW seriously considered launching a takeover bid for Volvo earlier this year, Autocar can reveal.

>The Bavarian car maker requested a complete breakdown of Volvo’s financial position from a European investment bank, which is handling enquiries on behalf of Volvo’s owners Ford.

>Sources also revealed that BMW had earlier looked at Alfa Romeo as a possible takeover target.

>Industry experts have told Autocar that BMW is considering expanding its range of brands to aid the company’s future growth as well as underpinning its front-wheel-drive Mini division by greatly expanding its output.

[ BMW: we’d like to buy