BMW Chairman: 3-Series Hatch Still a Go
BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer has confirmed that the automaker is still committed to producing a smaller, cheaper luxury crossover to complement the upcoming Progressive Activity Sedan based on the rear-drive platform underpinning the new 7-series. The hatchback, which will be based on the smaller 3-series platform, is likely to offer the same engine options as its platform-mates.
BMW recently announced that it had given the go-ahead for production of the larger 7-series based PAS. Though the smaller 3-series based hatchback has been approved for over 18 months, no production date has been set. When asked if the financial crisis had nixed plans for the 3-series hatch, Reithofer said, “We haven’t cancelled development for a crossover off the 3-series because it is considered a volume builder with which we can earn good money.”
Reithofer has been studying proposals to build the vehicle at the Spartanburg facility in South Carolina, or the automaker’s Rosslyn plant in South Africa. Autocar estimates that the 3-series hatch will not begin sales until 2011, with a cost of around €27,000 ($36,745). No target market was mentioned, but a U.S. debut is unlikely.