BMW Group Malaysia today bid a fond farewell to the Fifth Generation of the BMW 3 Series at a ceremony held at its local assembly facility in Kulim, Kedah.
“Since its inception in 1975, the BMW 3 Series has become an icon for entire generations of car enthusiasts. The Fifth Generation BMW 3 Series was no exception, and in many ways defined what it was to be a BMW in the 21st century.” said Mr. Geoffrey Briscoe, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia.
Briscoe added that aside from being the BMW Group’s number one seller, responsible for the highest and the best performing segment from the company’s total global sales volume since its introduction in 2006, the fifth generation BMW 3 Series has met with spectacular success in Malaysia. To date a total of 10,743 units had been sold locally, out of which 8,930 were assembled in Malaysia.
Further highlighting the significance of the Fifth Generation BMW 3 Series was Mr. Manfred Zink, Production Manager and Plant Representative, BMW Group Malaysia who said, “The BMW 3 Series is the car that has defined the premium segment for us at BMW here in Malaysia. It is also a very special car for us at the plant. It is the first BMW to have ever been locally assembled, with production beginning as early as 2006, first at the Associated Motor Industries (AMI) plant in Shah Alam and then here at our premises in the Inokom Corporation Plant since July 2008.”
Manfred further noted that with the assembly line facilities in Kulim being as advanced as any BMW production facility anywhere in the world, the presence of the Fifth Generation BMW 3 Series was a key catalyst to the significant investments into Malaysia by the German marque, as well as the introduction of superior premium quality assembly line technology, practices and standards to the Malaysian automotive industry.
The BMW assembly plant is operated in partnership with Inokom Corporation, a subsidiary of Sime Darby Berhad at the Inokom factory in Kulim, Kedah. Both BMW and Inokom share factory space but operate on separate and independent assembly lines in the facility.
“The BMW 3 Series created tremendous opportunities for us here in Kedah, both through the introduction of advanced new technologies as well as the creation of over 400 skilled and professional job opportunities for Malaysians” said Encik Mohd Rizal Jailan, Plant Manager of Inokom Corporation Sdn Bhd.
With well over 12 million units sold worldwide since its introduction in 1975, the BMW 3 Series revolutionised modern principles in automotive design, dynamism and functionality with driving enthusiasts around the world considering the car to be an icon for its unique combination of these attributes. These attributes would also see the Fifth Generation BMW 3 Series receive the “World’s Car of the Year Award” at the New York International Automobile Show in 2006 as well as many more accolades in the years which followed.
The final production schedule of the BMW 3 Series paves the way for the introduction of the highly anticipated Sixth Generation BMW 3 Series to Malaysia. Already earning itself significant acclaim since its international launch in October 2011, the new BMW 3 Series is expected to raise the benchmark of its predecessor even further and become a core contributor to BMW Group Malaysia’s profitability in the years to come.
“While we are sad to see the end of production to one of the most remarkable automobiles ever made, we are proud of the achievements of the Fifth Generation BMW 3 Series and look forward to incorporate all the lessons from its remarkable journey into the soon to be introduced, Sixth Generation Model – the New BMW 3 Series.” said Briscoe.