Will 2017 be the year we finally see the E46 M3 value increase significantly? According to a recent Road & Track article, the BMW E46 M3 is on the list to be one of the 10 cars that will “skyrocket” in value. We saw the E30 platform skyrocket in price so that means the E36 and E46, respectively, is next in line! But don’t get too excited.

If you think about why certain cars all of a sudden have a surge in value and if you have a little bit of marketing knowledge, you’ll understand value is triggered by demand. Well, at least it’s a huge part of it. So what causes demand on older cars all of a sudden?

Let’s take a look at the classic example. The MKIV Toyota Supra. Why did demand go up? Well, the production number is one factor and the Hollywood-hit movie The Fast and the Furious was a huge factor. The E46 M3 doesn’t have a production number low enough to spark any positive value forecasting nor does it have a Hollywood-hit movie.

Price Trend

If you take a look at the price trends for the E46 M3, you’ll find it to be generally on the decline according to CarGurus.com. There is a spike for whatever reason on 12/19/16, but to me it just seems like an outlier.

BMW E46 M3 Value

Production Numbers

Okay, what about the production numbers? It’s an M3! It has to be rare! Well, not really. Take a look at the information below via and see the comparison between the E30 and E46. Information via bmwmregistry.com.

BMW E30 M3 Production Data – Standard Models

Production CodeUnitsYear StartYear EndSpec
AK015,18719861989Europe
AK035,30019871990North America
AK054,58519861989Europe
AK051,51219891990Europe

BMW E46 M3 Production Data – Standard Models

Production CodeUnitsYear StartYear EndSpecGearboxBody
BL9116,03820002006Europe6MTCoupe
BL917,80020002006EuropeSMGCoupe
BL9212,51020012006Europe6MTCoupe
BL925,85520012006EuropeSMGCoupe
BL9326,20220012006North America6MTCoupe
BL9310,85120012006North AmericaSMGCoupe
BL95 (CSL)84120032003Europe6MTCoupe
BL96 (CSL)54220032003Europe6MTCoupe
BR914,82220012006Europe6MTConvertible
BR913,03920012006EuropeSMGConvertible
BR927,23420012006Europe6MTConvertible
BR923,75420012006EuropeSMGConvertible
BR9317,57720012006North America6MTConvertible
BR938,79620012006North AmericaSMGConvertible

A total of 5,300 E30 M3 models were produced for North America while a total of 63,426 E46 M3 models were produced for North America.

Verdict

We’re gonna compare apples to apples and compare the production numbers only. It took almost 30 years for the E30 M3 to skyrocket in value. At that rate, the E46 M3 will have it’s chance in 2031. Of course, that’s a soft-wool blanket statement, but with the production of the E46 being 12 times as much, I think the blanket is going to stay cold for a while. Maybe if you have a dime-piece sought out trim like an Alpine White with Cinnamon interior and 6MT transmission you might get lucky, but if you’re still optimistic about the general demand going up just hope for the continued owner-abuse of VANOS systems and failed rod bearings to eliminate more E46 M3’s on the road and accelerate the inflation process.

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