BMW plans to build new build new models to help it offset falling sales in its traditional segments. The car will be launched after the 2009 Progressive Activity Sedan and will be a derivation of the next 3 series.

"We are investigating whether we can successfully occupy more niches across all existing model lines," a company spokesman said.

A 3-series offshoot could allow BMW’s Munich factory to operate more profitably. Due to falling demand in conventional segments, it will be hard for the company to utilize all of the plant’s daily capacity of 1,000 vehicles with just the sedan and touring models now built there.

Plant manager Manfred Erlacher says he is prepared for another model. "If this were to involve a derivation of the four- or five-door three series, we can change production over to another model within three months," he said.

A similar strategy also is being planned for the new 5 series.

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Source: Automotive News

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