September 18, 2004 – BMW releases the 1 Series

BMW 1 Series by Rudolf Stricker

To provide a lower cost entry into BMW ownership than the 3 Series Compact, BMW launched the 1 Series in Europe on this day in 2004. The five door hatchback shared as much as 60 percent of its components with the E90 3 Series due to co-development. The money saved in design and engineering allowed BMW to move the 3 Series up the line in terms of cost, making the 1 Series its new entry level car. By 2008 the 1 Series laid claim to as much as 20 percent of BMW’s sales.

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