According to Autocar
, a BMW 3-series long wheelbase version is coming for the next generation BMW F30 3-series. Just as the F10 5-series long wheelbase version, the stretched 3-series' main market will be China, where many Chinese prefer to be chauffered. It will compete with the newly revealed Audi A4L.
The long wheelbase 3-series will be built in conjunction with Brilliance, BMW's Chinese partner, at a new BMW factory in the Shengyang economic zone. However, the factory will not be completed until 2012, so the earliest the 3-series long wheelbase version will hit the market would be 2012/2013.
The new factory will have the capacity to build 100,000 units a year, and will also house a production line for the X1, according to the chairman of Brilliance Auto, Qi Yu Min.
According to Autocar:
The plant's creation underlines both the growing importance of the Chinese market to BMW and the growing relationship between Brilliance and BMW.
Once the factory is complete, the alliance will be able to build up to 300,000 cars a year in China, with up to 60 per cent of the parts locally sourced. That means the plant is likely to exceed demand for BMW's in China, and will export cars.
BMW is projected to sell 120,000 cars in China from 2012, having doubled its sales in the region so far this year.
Brilliance is also reported to be pushing to open a Mini factory in China.