BMW is increasing prices in mainland Europe by 1.8 per cent across its complete model line-up apart from the new UK-built Mini.

However, apparently reflecting the competitive local market conditions, rising “parallel” (independent) imports and relatively recent adverse consumer reaction to perceived “rip-off” new car pricing, the company#;s UK subsidiary is restricting increases to the 3 series saloon, coupe, touring (wagon) and convertible models which will rise by an average of one per cent on 1 May.

Prices for the recently-launched Compact will not change.

“The differential between UK and European prices will, therefore, reduce,” BMW (GB) said in a statement.

BMW increased 3 series prices last September when most models were slightly restyled, new Valvetronic engines introduced and standard equipment increased. The specification improvements effectively cancelled out the price rise, the company claims.

Prices were “realigned” (i.e. reduced) in September 2000, the statement added.