I guess BMW is going the Toyota way. The bean counter's politics is one reason why I stirred away from Mercedes in a hurry. The US manufactured Mercedes were notoriously unreliable worldwide. By the way, the SA made E46 do have the reputation of being less reliable and have fit/finish issues. I have owned two German made E46 and never had as many problems as newer car a friend of mine had from South Africa. Between transmission failures, rattling of the door sills and what not... I don't know. I have not seen the statistics but BMWs built in any other place than Germany takes away a lot of their charm and what they represent. They would certainly lose a point of differentiation but BMW are looking to steal Lexus and buyers, it is the way to go. Losing a few purist or enthusiast on the way probably doesn't matter...
2000 Z3 2.8 TiAg (retired)
2002 330i Orient Blue (retired)
2005 330Ci TiAg (retired)
2009 Z4 30i Space Gray (retired)
2011 Z4 35is Space Gray
2011 535i GT xDrive Space Gray