When it came time to replace the 2002 in 1970s, BMW probably didn’t have expectations of creating an automotive icon, much less an entire class of car that would still be relevant over 40 years later. Now, after starting production in 1975, BMW is celebrating the construction of its 10 millionth 3 Series sedan. BMW has now built a total of over 14 million 3 Series.

The 10-millionth 3 Series sedan was completed at BMW’s Munich plant, and is an Imperial Blue 320d. The Munich plant was originally built in 1922 and is the only plant that has produced all six generations of the 3 Series. The plant currently produces 1,000 cars per day, about half of which are 2016 BMW 3 Series.

“The success story of the BMW 3 Series started here in Plant Munich and is now reaching a very special highpoint here as well,” said BMW Munich plant director Hermann Bohrer. “The fact that this landmark vehicle was produced at our plant is a particular honor for us and makes me very proud indeed of my team.”

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Why it matters

Though the sedan wasn’t introduced until the second generation, it has become by far the best-selling of the 3 Series many body styles and a staple in BMW’s lineup. It’s meteoric rise in popularity brought about direct competitors, including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan and later the Audi A4.

It’s also proven to be an extraordinarily versatile platform. Between the many permutations created by its engine options and drivetrain configurations, the 3 Series sedan has served as an efficient daily driver, provided blinding performance in M3 form and even found racing success in the World Touring Car Championships.

2016 BMW 3 Series

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
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Press Release

The ten millionth BMW 3 Series Sedan has rolled off the production lines at BMW Group Plant Munich. The landmark vehicle is the latest milestone in the 40-year success story of the BMW 3 Series. So far the BMW Group has produced more than

14 million cars of this model series, more than half of them BMW 3 Series Sedans. Production of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan was launched just recently, in July of this year. The landmark ten millionth vehicle is a BMW 320d in Imperial Blue.

Hermann Bohrer, Plant Director at the BMW Group facility in Munich, commented: “The success story of the BMW 3 Series started here in Plant Munich and is now reaching a very special highpoint here as well. The fact that this landmark vehicle was produced at our plant is a particular honour for us and makes me very proud indeed of my team.”

As the only facility to have produced all six generations of the BMW 3 Series, BMW Group Plant Munich is seen as the leader for all the other facilities producing the same model series. To meet the many requirements of the various generations, the plant had to rise to new challenges each time. The constant modernisation and enhancement of production systems means today’s customers have a multitude of model variants and equipment options to choose from and can tailor their cars almost entirely to their personal specifications.

BMW Group Plant Munich currently produces 1,000 cars a day, half of them BMW 3 Series. To meet strong demand, the model series is also manufactured at Plants Regensburg (Germany), Rosslyn (South Africa) and Tiexi (China).

A success story begins

In 1970 BMW Group developers began working on a new model series that would later become the most successful BMW. To this day each new generation of the BMW 3 Series has consistently fulfilled the same requirements, coupling everyday versatility with contemporary design and a sporty driving experience. After five years of development work, production of the international bestseller was finally launched in June 1975. Just a few years later the first variants were added to the range as well. With each new generation, the BMW 3 Series has led the way and established itself as the vanguard of its class.

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