MUNICH, Germany -- BMW's successor to the 3-series convertible will be launched in Europe in March 2007, company insiders say. It will have a folding hardtop.
Officials at BMW of North America declined to say when the convertible will go on sale in that market. But typically BMW launches vehicles in North America three to six months after their European debut.
BMW is expected to introduce the vehicle at the Paris auto show in September 2006.
The convertible will be based on the fifth-generation 3 series, which was introduced at the Geneva auto show in March. A station wagon variant of the new 3 series is due in 2006, and an M3 version with a V-8 engine arrives in 2008.
German supplier Edscha will supply the roof. Edscha will lease a new construction area at BMW's Regensburg, Germany, plant to produce the three-part roof system.
Edscha supplies the soft-top convertible roof system for the current 3 series from its plant in Hengersberg, about 50 miles from Regensburg. The first production models of the new 3-series convertible, known internally as the E93, already have begun.
Edscha supplies roof systems for BMW's current versions of the 6 series and the Z4 roadster.
Last year, BMW sold 40,300 units of its 3-series convertible worldwide. In 2002, the niche model's most successful year to date, BMW sold more than 54,000 units of the ragtop.
Diana T. Kurylko contributed to this report