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BMW UNVEILS NEW 3-SERIES SPORTS COUPE VERSIONS FOR '92; ANNOUNCES RECYCLING INITIATIVE, YEAR-END BUSINESS RESULTS (Product Announcement)

 BMW UNVEILS NEW 3-SERIES SPORTS COUPE VERSIONS FOR '92;
 ANNOUNCES RECYCLING INITIATIVE, YEAR-END BUSINESS RESULTS
 DETROIT, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Two sleek new coupes, the 1992 BMW 325is and the 318is, made their worldwide debut here today, adding two- door versions of BMW's redesigned -- and widely acclaimed -- 3-Series to the German manufacturer's 1992 lineup.
 Dr. Robert Buchelhofer, member of the board of management of BMW AG, today pointed out that the worldwide introduction of the two new automobiles took place in Detroit to underscore BMW's commitment to the U.S. market.
 "We felt it was important, in a difficult business year in this market," Buchelhofer explained, "to use the introduction of the 3-Series coupe to clearly affirm BMW's long-term commitment to our American dealers and to our customers."
 The expansion of the 3-Series model range is viewed with equal importance by Karl H. Gerlinger, president of BMW of North America, Inc. "The addition of these new models to our most popular, entry-level series, gives us even more flexibility and strongly positions us to meet the demands of a challenging U.S. market in 1992," Gerlinger said. "We project that these new models will be the basis for a 20 percent increase in sales for 1992."
 The sports coupe version of the elegantly restyled 325i sedan, which was introduced to rave reviews last summer, offers driving enthusiasts a more athletic version of the four-door model. The 325is shares the same powerful, 189-horsepower, low-maintenance engine that is in the four- door, but its body styling is distinctively its own -- the physique of the coupe is lower, sportier, sleeker.
 The same philosophy is followed in the 318is. This automobile, too, has its own unique profile, more related in styling to the 325is than to its newly designed sister sedan, the 318i.
 The major difference between the two coupes is in the size of the engine. Horsepower in the 1992 318is sports coupe has been boosted from 134 to 138, yet fuel efficiency has risen from the previous 21/27 to 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway, despite a 264-lb. weight increase for the new, more substantial 318is.
 The six-cylinder, 24-valve 325is will go on sale in the United States in April at a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $29,100, while the four-cylinder, 16-valve 318is will be available in May at an MSRP of $23,600. The 325i four-door has an MSRP of $27,990, and the 318i four-door has an MSRP of $22,900.
 New Recycling Initiative Announced
 BMW today also announced a new U.S. recycling initiative. As part of the project, BMW of North America will establish a pilot program to study the feasibility of developing a plan and procedures for the eventual recycling of all BMW products when they reach the end of their lifecycle.
 "BMW's objective is to use the experience gained with the pilot program here, and from our recycling research already underway in Germany, to determine if we should establish a national network of authorized BMW recycling centers," Gerlinger said.
 BMW's recycling effort is another example of policies that reflect the company's sense of responsibility for the environment. Gerlinger further pointed out that today's North American introduction of the E1, an electric car prototype designed for use in the European market, is yet another benchmark achievement in BMW's environmental research agenda.
 Business Results
 More than 550,000 BMWs were sold worldwide in 1991, making it the best sales year ever for the Munich-based company. BMW AG's excellent year-end showing is due mainly to total worldwide sales and to revenue figures that have surpassed those of the year before. This strong finish was fueled by brisk sales in such European markets as Spain and the newly-united Germany.
 Despite the weak U.S. market -- the company sold 53,343 vehicles in this country last year -- BMW's resolve to improve its sales curve here in 1992, and throughout the 90s, has not lessened. "BMW of North America is confident that the quality and variety of its products will propel the company to regain an upward spiral in its sales results," said Gerlinger, "led mainly by the redesigned, much acclaimed and attractively priced 3-Series offerings." First year sales of the new 325i sedan totaled nearly a quarter million automobiles worldwide in 1991.
 Buchelhofer concurred: "The United States is, and will remain, BMW's most important market outside of Germany. BMW knows if you want to be a global player in this business, you must be a successful player in the United States. And that is what we intend to be," he said.
 BMW expects to sell more than 64,000 automobiles in the United States in 1992, with the new 3-Series models accounting for 50 to 60 percent of those sales.
 -0- 1/6/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas O. McGurn of BMW, 201-307-3785 or 313-393-4145/ CO: BMW ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


KD-SM -- NY056 -- 7005 01/06/92 15:31 EST
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Article Type:Product Announcement
Date:Jan 6, 1992
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