Fleet News

BMW plans all-new medium sector car

AN 'all-new' lower medium sector car range is to be built and badged by BMW. The German manufacturer refused to confirm or deny that it will be based on development plans for the R30, which was to have replaced Rover 25 and 45 in 2003.

BMW itself is referring to the new sub 3-series as a natural successor to its three-door Compact, although it will have more derivatives. Where the car will be produced also remains uncertain, although Fleet NewsNet understands capacity could be found at BMW's Cowley, Oxford, plant alongside Rover/MG 75 and the new Mini.

However, having parted with Longbridge and the attendant £1.5 billion investment plans to modernise the plant for R30 and new Mini, BMW will have several production options open, including Tatabanya - the Hungarian greenfield site which became a bargaining tool in the battle to gain European Commission approval for £152 million in UK Government aid. BMW refused to comment on location, launch timing or product name - although 2-series is thought likely.

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