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Oct 1, 2011 - half the 8-series has turned 20

    Half the produced E31´s today exceed the age of 20 years. 22 months into the series production but with almost 8 years to go, the majority of 8-series Coupé´s roamed the streets worldwide. The onset of the production for the E31 was very bright but a sharp decline in demand and consequently production numbers late in 1991 reduced the output from a maximum of near 70 cars per working day to only 20 and below in the years to come.

  By October 1, 1991 the distribution of cars looked like below - all cars produced to this date were sold as 850i and propelled by an M70 V12 engine:


Region Gearbox Steering Oct 1, 1991 Total %
ECE Auto LHD 9237 11989 77.0
ECE Manual LHD 1948 2721 71.6
North America Auto LHD 2601 3347 77.7
North America Manual LHD 731 847 86.3
ECE Auto RHD 722 1046 69.0
ECE Manual RHD 68 98 69.4
South Africa Auto RHD 4 20 20.0
South Africa Manual RHD 3 4 75.0
Total M70 production

15315 20072 76.3


        More than three quarters of  the M70 based 850´s had seen the light of day and with the advent of the M60 840 and S70 850CSi in autumn 1992 the demand for the seasoned V12 dropped even further. By June 1993, only 3 months after the production of the younger brethren to the (then) 850Ci had started in earnest, production numbers for the 840Ci surpassed  those of  the M70. The era M70 was over by the end of 1993 but production continued at a very slow pace until the successor engine M73 was introduced late in 1994.

  From 1997 onwards the general E31 production dropped to a constant 5 cars per working day with the number of weekly production days being reduced from 5 to 3 until the end of the production run on May 12, 1999.

Looking ahead, the dates below mark other statistical points in the timeline of the E31 production:

Percentage of production # of cars Date % of production time
50 15311
Sep. 30, 1991 22.2
66 20210
Jun. 21, 1993 39.8
75 22966
May 16, 1994 49.0
90 27559
Jun. 14, 1996 70.3
99 30315
Nov. 30, 1998 95.4

posted @ Saturday, October 01, 2011 by Registry
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