There are a few other factors that have also played into this decision. Firstly, the new X3 is currently built by Magna Steyr in Austria but production will also move to the Spartanburg plant sometime in 2010. In addition, BMW’s forthcoming X6 crossover will also be built at the South Carolina plant, making it a hub for SUV manufacturing for BMW. Building all three “X-series” models in one location can conceivably lead to better economies of scale. In any case, CEO Norbert Reithofer has publicly stated that he wants to see production lift to 200,000 units or more (up from 105,000 in 2006) to help hedge against fluctuating exchange rates.
There are also rumors that BMW will be taking the new Z4 upmarket to better compete with the new models from Porsche and Mercedes, and buyers would expect to receive a premium “Made in Germany” product.