We have been saying it for months now and we anticipated an official announcement sometimes in 2011, but BMW’s CEO Norbert Reithofer jumps ahead and confirms their plans to offer a hybrid version of the next generation 3 Series due to launch in 2012. The 3 Series Hybrid fits in BMW’s plans to reduce emissions across its range and comply with the strict emission regulation rules that will be enforced in the next years.
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At the annual shareholders meeting in Munich, Reithofer told the audience that the technology found in the upcoming 5 Series Hybrid will be inherited by a 3 Series model as well.
“As early as next year, the new BMW 5-series will also be available as a full hybrid,” he said. “And we are anticipating the hybridisation of further models series, such as the BMW 3-series.”
Reithofer said demand from Japan was one of the main reasons for BMW pursuing hybrid technology. “Sales of hybrid vehicles [in Japan] have skyrocketed,” he said. “If you don’t have a hybrid in your portfolio, soon you might not be selling any cars in Japan at all.”
The move is clearly a sales based decision, but at the same time, a new hybrid will fit well in BMW’s plans to reduce CO2 emission by 25 percent before 2020.
[Source: Autocar ]