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The Chinese auto market has a strange fascination with stretched versions of compact and mid-size sedans, the the stretched BMW 5-Series (pictured), the Audi A4L and the stretched Mercedes-Benz E-Class to name a few.
BMW wants a bigger piece of the action and is teaming of with Chinese automaker Brilliance (yes, that Brilliance) to build the long-wheelbase 3-Series as well as a new factory in the Chinese region of Shenyeng. The factory should have an ultimate capacity of 300,000 units, with 60 percent of the parts sourced within China. Capacity should be enough that BMW will be able to export cars from the plant, although it’s not likely that we’ll ever see a stretched 3-Series on our shores. Expect identical powertrain options in the stretched car, and a slightly higher price tag.