It looks like the BMW Group has finally found an appropriate partner to help develop its next small car platform (which will include the next generation MINI). Here’s an excerpt from a report out of this morning’s NewsDaily:

>Italian car maker Fiat will work with Germany’s BMW to develop a new platform for small cars, industry magazine Automotive News Europe reported on Tuesday, citing supplier sources.

>Fiat and BMW are also considering developing a new family of gasoline and diesel engines, the magazine said in a report posted on its website.

>The report came as Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told reporters it would sign an industrial alliance in the car sector on Wednesday, though he did not identify the partner.

Here’s yet more from Reuters:

>Both BMW and Fiat had reportedly been in separate talks with Daimler over possible joint development of small cars with Mercedes-Benz, but negotiations yielded no results.

>A deal with Fiat could involve sharing common architecture between the next generation Mini, due to hit markets in about five years, and Alfa Romeo’s MiTo subcompact, an industry source told Reuters.

>A cooperation with Alfa for joint motors was unlikely, the person added. BMW already sources small petrol engines for the Mini that it jointly developed with French partner Peugeot (PEUP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), which uses them in its Peugeot 207 subcompact.

>The two carmakers have agreed not to divulge details of the possible collaboration but they did say results of the talks will probably be achieved by the end of the year.

It’s unclear exactly how far this collaboration will go but it is certain that BMW will be looking for as many partnerships as possible to spread development costs down while keeping the product as competitive as possible. Look for further information in the coming weeks and early development to start next year.

(thanks for the tip Frank)