The BMW 3 Series has been in our lives since the 1970s and has been incredibly popular with families and executives ever since. With the news of a new model in development we decided to have a look at the history and the future of this modern, classic car.
BMW released its first 3 series in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. It attracted buyers looking for both prestige and economy in the wake of the damaging oil embargo. The car nearly doubled BMW’s worldwide auto sales figures in three years; BMW sold 184,330 cars in 1974 and 290,000 in 1977, and a year later sales had increased to 320,000. The 3 series also won numerous automotive awards and honours; in a word it was a success. With a new model released every decade the manufacturer kept interest in the model high. With models like the BMW 330ci doing especially well.
The manufacturer tapped into a niche that hadn’t previously been explored, with a sporty body and more importantly fuel economy. Launched outside the Munich Olympic Stadium, in July 1975, the new car was designed to be practical, fuel efficient and above all usable. The model was a great success right from the start, and even surprised the manufactures themselves, who had unwittingly plugged into the conscious of drivers around the world. Eberhard von Kuenheim, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG in 1975, made a clear statement on the new 3 Series in a two-page ad in 1976 under the title “BMW Moving out of the Niche:” “This model series has given us a level of success far beyond our own expectations. And the new cars not only meet the sporting ambitions of a relatively small group of excellent motorists. Rather, they are aimed at a larger group of experienced drivers looking increasingly for quality and safety. Hence, we are actually appealing to a far larger group of prospects.”
The newest version is expected to be a three-cylinder version, with an anticipated release date of 2014. This car is also expected to do well, as interest in both the brand and the small compact model continue to grow. Well, history does have a tendency of repeating itself.
For previous models of the BMW 3 Series go to Carsales.com.au.