BMW announces plans to build X4

// Posted in BMW

BMW X4 rendering (unofficial)

BMW brings word it plans to spend US$900m on its Spartanburg production facility in South Carolina. Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Production, says the bewildering demand for the BMW X-line of models is the cause.

“This is in response to rising global demand for our BMW X models and the expansion of the BMW X family to include the BMW X4,” Arndt explains.

Confirmation of the X4 was announced at a special event to celebrate the two millionth car to roll of the Spartanburg production line.

Okay, the more conventional X5 and X3 models we can understand. And, it’s true, BMW make some awesome cars. So why on earth do people want to buy so many X6s that BMW sees fit to make an X4 too?

But then, if faced with the prospect of an owning X6, we’d much rather a 5 Series GT; a model almost everyone seems to hate. All that really tells us is BMW is creating market segments to prove people will buy anything if it has a BMW badge. Good luck to BMW, then!

[Unofficial rendering: Inside Line]

BMW Group expands U.S. plant in South Carolina

  • Company to invest a further USD 900 million
  • Around 300 new jobs for Spartanburg
  • Two-millionth vehicle rolls off the assembly line
  • Arndt announces X-model family expansion with BMW X4

The BMW Group is expanding capacity at its U.S. plant in Spartanburg. “We plan to invest over the next three years nearly USD 900 million in the Spartanburg plant by 2014. This will create 300 new jobs by the end of this year. This will allow us to produce 350,000 units in Spartanburg in the mid term,” says Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Production, in Spartanburg on Thursday. The BMW Group already invested USD 750 million in the expansion of the plant for production of the new BMW X3 between 2008 and 2010.

“This is in response to rising global demand for our BMW X models and the expansion of the BMW X family to include the BMW X4,” Arndt explains at a ceremony to celebrate production of the two-millionth vehicle at the BMW plant in South Carolina since 1994. The move will bring the BMW Group’s total investment in South Carolina to nearly USD six billion.

The Governor of the State of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, speaks at the ceremony, saying: “BMW has once again provided tremendous evidence that South Carolina is a blueprint for significant economic development success. The partnership between this company and our State is an enduring example of how to attract, retain and grow business to stimulate perpetual job creation.”

Production in Spartanburg reached new high in 2011

Last year, the BMW plant in Spartanburg produced 276,065 vehicles for more than 130 markets around the world, representing an increase of 73% over the previous year. The BMW X3 also played a major role in this positive development. Global sales of this highly-successful model rose 156% in 2011 to reach a total of 117,944 vehicles.

More than 70% of the vehicles produced in Spartanburg (192,813) were exported, making the BMW Group the largest automotive exporter to the non-NAFTA countries.

Four expansions already at U.S. plant

Since it opened in 1994, the BMW plant in Spartanburg has already undergone four expansions and produced six different BMW models (318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6, X3) and their variants. Employment has grown from 500 initially to more than 7,000 today.

Clean production

BMW’s Spartanburg plant is state-of-the-art in terms of environmental protection. Advanced production processes have made vehicle production even more environmentally-compatible: Over the past five years, it was possible to lower energy consumption by 48%, halve water consumption, reduce CO2 emissions by 44% and waste by 65% by car. In 2010, for example, the Spartanburg plant generated almost 62 million kilowatt hours of electricity from a methane gas energy centre located on the grounds of the facility and supplied by a local landfill. This accounts for over 37% of the entire plant’s total electrical demand.

USA largest market for BMW Group in 2011

The BMW Group is the leading manufacturer of premium automobiles in the U.S., the world’s largest market for premium automobiles. Last year, the BMW Group increased sales of its BMW and MINI brand vehicles in the U.S. by almost 15% to reach a total of 305,418 vehicles. The American market was therefore the largest market for the BMW Group in 2011.