Production of the upcoming Z4 is expected to return to Germany, and will begin in time for the car to hit the streets in 2009 as a 2010 model. The Spartanburg plant won't go idle, however, as it's expected to pick up with production of the next-generation X3 and the X6, which are stronger sellers in the U.S.
Bobby Hitt, a BMW manufacturing spokesman, told local news source GreenvilleOnline, “It’s been a great car for the plant, [but] in the life of a plant, new models are what drives the energy.”
“It’s exciting to build cars with a strong order bank, that people want,” Hitt said.
The new production at the plant is driving a $750 million expansion, adding a 1.2 million square-foot assembly site and upgrading the paint shop. Already construction of the expanded facilities are underway, with full-scale production expected to begin in 2009.
The next-generation Z4 roadster and coupe are expected to grow in size and performance, with the top-end M Roadster to get as much as 350hp (261kW) from a twin-turbo inline six-cylinder powerplant. Entry level cars will start with just four cylinders in Europe, but all U.S. models are expected to be six-cylinder cars. For more information on the upcoming Z4, plus spy shots of the car in testing, read our story here.