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The new BMW 3 Series to extend segment leadership

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Bangkok--Mar 2--124 Communications

BMW Group Thailand unveiled the new BMW 3 Series at a press conference today with models of the new Series to make its market debut at the Bangkok International Motor Show starting March 26, 2005 and customers will be able to place their bookings then onwards. BMW Group Thailand will start delivering the locally-built new 3 Series to clients from the third quarter of this year.

Initially BMW Group Thailand will sell the new 3 Series with two engine variances, the 2.0l and the 3.0l engines in the 320i and the 330i models respectively. The CKD 320i model comes with two different product profiles with two different price tags of 2.4 million baht and 2.7 million baht for the 320iSE special edition. Besides the 330i, designated as the segment's flagship, costs 4.2 million baht.

At the press conference, Dr. Frank Roesler, President of BMW Group Thailand, said: "Every predecessor of the 3 Series has set the benchmark for the segment in the time frames they belong to. For the Thai market, the current 3 Series has been the segment leader for 5 years in a row from its launch until the end of the product life cycle."

BMW Group Thailand expects the new 3 Series to regenerate the 3 Series' success. "Being the best product in the segment, the new 3 Series, with its great product substance, is expected to maintain the segment leadership," Dr. Roesler said.

The new 3 Series comes up with a lot of automotive innovations including the six-speed automatic gearbox which is unique in the segment; a newly developed suspension both front and rear; and standard run-flat tyres. The 330i also integrates Active Steering and Adaptive Headlight with both also being unique features in the segment. As it is the segment's flagship, the model is powered with BMW's latest straight six-cylinder engine featuring 258 hp, the highest power output in the market.

Besides its driving credentials, the new 3 Series, offers significantly larger rear passenger room and the segment's longest wheelbase measuring 2.76 metres and the largest luggage compartment measuring 460 litres.

At the press conference, BMW Group Thailand also stated that the total production capacity of the new 3 Series at its Rayong plant from the launch period until the end of the year is limited and will probably not meet the overall market demand. Each authorized dealer of BMW Group Thailand will therefore have a limited quota of this model to sell this year.

The completely knocked down (CKD) production of the new 3 Series at the Rayong plant involves investment in another body line as well as additional investment in the assembly line.

BMW Group Thailand plans to expand further this year. Last year, BMW Group Thailand sold 4,771 cars, with BMW totaling 3,450 cars and MINI totaling 321 cars. The previous 3 Series ended its product life cycle at its fifth year as the segment leader. The 5 Series set a new record for the year with 1,222 sedans being sold despite production of the new model lasting only six months. Another core model, the 7 Series, set its own new record obtaining 45% of the top luxury segment.

For more information, please contact
Dr. Wit Sittivaekin
Corporate Communications Director
BMW (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Tel:   0-2305-8888
Fax:   02-654-3115
Website: www.bmw.co.th   End.

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