Trendsetter and bestseller: The 500 000th BMW X3 rolls off the assembly line. BMW Group donates the anniversary car to earthquake victims in China. Munich. It was the path leading to a new segment, and it became an unrivalled path of success. Five years after the presentation of the compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), the 500 000th BMW X3 is leaving the assembly line. The production anniversary marks a further milestone in the triumphant international success story of the agile all-wheel model. Thanks to its agile handling characteristics, the BMW X3 has not only set a trend but has also set benchmarks. Its remarkable popularity is reflected in numerous awards and an outstanding position in the market conquered by the BMW X3 as the only premium vehicle in its class to date. The anniversary vehicle, which leaves the factory owned by the BMW Group's production associate Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, on 18th June 2008, will be donated by the BMW Group to earthquake victims in the Chinese province of Sichuan. In September, it is to be auctioned off following the Destination X Tour 2008 in China. All proceeds will go to the China Charity Organisation and the BMW Warm Heart Fund. Its outstanding agility and exemplary efficiency underline the continuing market success of the BMW X3, following its launch five years ago. With the second BMW X model, the dynamic handling characteristics that had previously already rendered the BMW X5 an excellent performer had now also been introduced to the compact all-wheel vehicle segment. The successful expansion of the model range confirms BMW’s concept of substantiating the driving dynamics-oriented SAV category in the market environment of off-road vehicles. To this date, more than 1.25 million BMW X models have been sold worldwide. Superior all-wheel technology thanks to BMW xDrive, exemplary efficiency thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics. The BMW X3 owes its unique combination of sporty handling performance on the road and superior traction on non-tarmac surfaces to the intelligent all-wheel technology BMW xDrive. The BMW X3 was the first model to be equipped with electronically controlled variable power distribution between the front and rear wheels. Meanwhile however, all four-wheel drive BMW models feature xDrive. And the BMW X family has now been further augmented by the exceptionally dynamic Sports Activity Coupe BMW X6. The successful SAV concept and the advanced drive technology have both ensured that BMW is today’s most successful builder of all-terrain vehicles in the premium segment. In addition to superior technology and premium quality, the BMW X3 excels through an even balance between driving fun and fuel consumption unrivalled in its segment, the front runner in terms of efficiency being above all the BMW X3 2.0d. Its 130 kW/177 bhp four-cylinder diesel power unit featuring an all-aluminium crankcase and state-of-the-art Common Rail direct fuel injection is concerted with an array of BMW EfficientDynamics measures. The BMW X3 2.0d offers impressive pulling power with an average fuel consumption of just 6.5 litres/100 km as determined in an EU test cycle. Numerous awards for driving fun, reliability and stability of value. Due to its multifaceted qualities, the BMW X3 has earned itself a number of high-calibre awards. Twice in succession, in 2006 and 2007, readers of Europe’s most widely sold all-terrain car magazine “Auto Bild Alles Allrad” voted this SAV model “All-wheel Car of the Year”. Also, during the same years the BMW X3 won a reader survey conducted by the car magazine “Off Road” way ahead of its competitors, each time seizing the title “Sports Utility Vehicle of the Year”. Moreover, the intelligent all-wheel system xDrive was awarded the Innovation Prize 2007 by the Deutscher Allrad Verband (DAV). In addition, this year the BMW X3 was awarded the prize “Gelber Engel” by the world’s largest automobile club ADAC in the category “quality” for being the most reliable vehicle on Germany’s roads. Furthermore, market research experts from EurotaxSchwacke put the BMW X3 in first place in the 2008 “Automobile Forecast Index” in the off-road vehicle category. By doing so, they confirmed that the SAV model had the lowest depreciation in this segment. 500 000 BMW X3s – a milestone in a global success story. From the very beginning, the market success of the BMW X3 was a global phenomenon. In the year 2007 alone, more than 110,000 units were sold worldwide. International demand also resulted in the production capacity in Graz, Austria, being augmented by a so-called “completely knocked down assembly” at three locations outside the European Union. In this way, markets in which the import of fully assembled vehicles is impeded due for example to customs regulations, have access to models that are appealing. Therefore, the BMW X3 is built within the framework of the CKD assembly scheme at the locations Cairo (Egypt), Kaliningrad (Russia) and Rayong (Thailand). Moreover, depending on the market environment, there is a choice of different engine variants. In Europe, three versions of both the petrol and the diesel engine are currently available for the BMW X3. The performance spectrum ranges from 110 kW/150 bhp for the BMW X3 2.0i with a four-cylinder petrol engine to 210 kW/286 bhp for the BMW X3 3.0sd powered by a straight sixcylinder oil burner with Variable Twin Turbo. The 500 000th BMW X3 has a straight six-cylinder petrol engine with a composite magnesium-aluminium crankcase and variable VALVETRONIC valve management under the bonnet. The BMW X3 3.0si featuring this drivetrain develops an output of 200 kW/272 bhp. With its individualistic ruby red metallic body colour, the anniversary vehicle is also unique to the Chinese car market. This is a further reason why the BMW Group can hope to obtain the highest possible price when the anniversary car is auctioned off. The auction for the China Charity Organisation will conclude the Destination X Tour 2008. At this outdoor adventure event held annually by the BMW Group, participants complete a particularly demanding rally on Chinese highways and on nontarmac roads where the BMW X3 can really show what it is made of. Aid for earthquake victims: BMW Group assumes social responsibility. A day after the disastrous earthquake in May, BMW China and BMW Brilliance had donated 1 million CNY (around 93,000 Euros) and three BMW X3 cars as immediate aid. Together with the China Charity Foundation, the BMW Group instituted the BMW Warm Heart Fund, donating a further 10 million CNY (around 930,000 Euros) in response to the far-reaching consequences of the earthquake. In donating the 500 000th BMW X3, the company is increasing its commitment in support of the earthquake victims and emphasising its willingness to assume social responsibility and to live up to its role as a “corporate citizen”.