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BMW: Don't fear the stop/start system in the 2012 3-series

Fri, 14 Oct 2011

BMW is taking a calculated risk by installing an automatic stop/start system on its best seller, the 3-series, for 2012. But company brass is optimistic that American consumers will adjust to the relatively foreign technology.

"Many customers will enjoy the car very quickly," said BMW board member Ian Robertson, who oversees sales and marketing.

But he was quick to admit, "Yes, it is different."

Robertson notes that the system can be turned off and says the company expects a learning curve.

"The psychology of it works really well, as well as the practicality of saving, maybe, 15 percent of fuel," he said.

The system is far more common in Europe than in the United States. The only current 3-series that uses it is the M3.

The 2012 3-series goes into production November and arrives in the states in February.

By Greg Migliore