Reports of BMW and Mercedes partnering to make everything from small cars to major components is like watching a tennis match. Every week seems to bring new statements either confirming or refuting the partnership. This week BMW is the one being cautiously pessimistic with BMW CEO claiming the brand is too valuable to be tied up with Mercedes too overtly. Here’s a quote from this week’s Automotive News:

>No cost savings could possibly be great enough to warrant ruining the core of a brand, he explained.

>Last week, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche pushed for a broader alliance with BMW during an interview with Reuters, saying there were in principle only a few areas where a cooperation was out of the question.

Specifically when it comes to the MINI, BMW is concerned about keeping brand values front and center – notably performance. As we reported last year, BMW looked seriously at building the the next-generation MINI on an Alfa Romeo (Mito) platform. Eventually they scrapped the concept after realizing that they couldn’t guarantee the resulting car would look or drive MINI enough.