The final BMW 3 Series sedan has rolled off the production line at Plant Rosslyn in Pretoria, after 35 years of local production of the 3 Series.
BMW Group South Africa ? which will soon switch production to the new X3 ? says its plant assembled a total of 1 191 604 units of the 3 Series across five generations.
Let?s take a quick look back at each of these generations?
Second generation (E30): The Gusheshe
The second generation of the 3 Series, known as the ?Gusheshe? or ?Bhotsotso? in South Africa, was produced at Plant Rosslyn from 1983 to 1992. The 333i and 325iS, of course, were built exclusively for the local market. A total of 98 003 second-generation 3 Series models were produced at Plant Rosslyn.
Third generation (E36): The Dolphin
Nicknamed ?The Dolphin? by South Africans, the third-generation 3 Series was built at Plant Rosslyn between 1992 and 1997. The body and wheelbase grew significantly, resulting in more interior space for passengers. A total of 84 876 units were produced in Pretoria.
Fourth generation (E46): The G-String
Sometimes referred to in South Africa as ?the G-String?, chiefly because of the design of its steering wheel, the fourth-generation 3 Series was produced at Plant Rosslyn between 1997 and 2004. It grew in size yet again, while the signature kidney grille was now integrated into the bonnet. Some 269 810 units were produced at Plant Rosslyn.
Fifth generation (E90): The Tweezer
The fifth generation of the BMW 3 Series ? known to some in South Africa as ?The Tweezer? ? was produced in Pretoria between 2004 and 2011. It went on to win the ?World Car of the Year? in New York in 2006. A whopping 356 257 units of this model were produced at Plant Rosslyn.
Sixth generation (F30): Current 3 Series
The current 3 Series appeared on the market in early 2012, before being split into Sedan and Gran Turismo ranges. Produced at Plant Rosslyn from 2012 until February 2018, a total of 382 658 sixth-gen 3 Series models were assembled. BMW Group SA says it will now start importing the sedan.