The investment in the Spartanburg facility will also allow BMW to build its new X4 crossover in the United States, a decision confirmed by Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW’s Group Board Member in charge of production.
BMW’s X4 crossover will borrow engines from the current X3, but will get its styling from the sloped-roof X6 and should slot between the two in size. As you’d expect, coupe-like styling will impact the X4’s ability to haul oversize cargo, and reports say that the X4 will have about 50 percent less cargo space (with rear seats up) than the theoretically-smaller X3.
Expansion of BMW's Spartanburg plant will also increase its annual production capacity to an estimated 350,000 units when the work is completed. By the end of 2012, with 300 new workers in place, that capacity is expected to be around 300,000 units.
Last year, Spartanburg built 276,065 vehicles, of which 192,813 were exported for sales in foreign (non NAFTA) markets. BMW just marked the completion of 2,000,000 vehicles at the plant, which opened in 1994.