BMW will produce its 500,000th 1-series model within the next few weeks – proof that there is room for premium small cars.

Chief financial officer Michael Ganal said that he knew that some people held doubts when BMW launches the 1-series in 2004.

He said: “To reach half a million vehicles in three years is a remarkable achievement. Now we are expanding the range further with the launch of the Coupe and the Convertible which will follow next spring.”

Ganal said the issue for BMW in 2004 was whether there was room for a small, rear-wheel-drive, premium vehicle in what is the largest sector of the car market.

He added: “With rear-wheel-drive we have shown that there is room for an alternative. The 1-series is a typical BMW, elegant and sporty, but in the small car segment.”

Ganal said he believed the small coupe market was set to grow and was targeting the UK and the United States as key markets for the new 1-series Coupe, currently being launched to the press in Copenhagen.

BMW has set its sights on selling 25,000 coupes annually, at least half that number going to the USA. 

See also: DENMARK: BMW targets US with 1 Series Coupe