2012 BMW 3 Series will start at $35,775 (328i) in US image

BMW, world’s largest premium automaker has announced that the sixth generation of the 3 Series will start at $35, 775. The 2012 BMW 335i will start at $43,275.

That’s about $1100-1200 over last E90 3 Series sedan.

However, it’s larger and more spacious than the model it replaces, yet most models are lighter than their predecessors, as well as quicker and more efficient.

It has downsized on the engine side, too, so the 2012 BMW 328i will arrive in the U.S. in February next year with a 240-horsepower, direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinder lurking under the hood.

The new 3-Series will cost 7 percent to 9 percent less to manufacture because it shares components with other models, according to Eichiner. So, this could boost profit margins for BMW which targets earnings before interest and taxes at 8 percent to 10 percent of sales in 2012 and beyond.

The overhauled 3-Series should help BMW maintain its sales lead too. The best-seller is projected to help boost the brand’s deliveries by 9.3 percent to 1.47 million next year, according to IHS Automotive. [read more about the new BMW 3 Series]

BMW said it sold 8.3 percent more cars in October than in the same period a year earlier, boosted by demand for its 5-Series sedan and the X3 crossover SUV.