The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive car manufactured by the German automaker BMW since May 1975. Successor to the BMW New Class, it has been produced in six different generations and in five different body styles. It is BMW's best-selling model, accounting for around 30% of the BMW brand's annual total sales (excluding motorbikes).
BMW released its E21 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, nearly doubling BMW's worldwide auto sales figures in three years. The 3 Series has also maintained BMW's racing heritage. The M version of the 3 Series, M3, debuted in 1988.
There have been six generations; their respective chassis codes are:
BMW E21 – (1975–1983) 3 Series
BMW E30 – (1983–1991) 3 Series
BMW E36 – (1991–2000) 3 Series
BMW E46 – (1999–2006) 3 Series
BMW E90 – (2005–2011/EUR, 2006–2011/US) 3 Series saloon
BMW E91 – (2005–2011/EUR, 2006–2011/US) 3 Series Touring (Sports Wagon)
BMW E92 – (2007–2011) 3 Series Coupé
BMW E93 – (2007–2013) 3 Series Convertible
BMW F30 – (2012–) 3 Series saloon
BMW F31 – (2012–) 3 Series Touring (Sports Wagon)