New model planned by BMW in US
The BMW Spartanburg factory, which is located in South Carolina, has been producing cars for the luxury German car manufacturer for two decades. An announcement on Friday week revealed plans to start the production of the X7, which is a full-size seven-seater crossover.
The X7 is expected to be a long-wheelbase, restyled version of the third-generation X5, which will make it a rival to the Range Rover, Mercedes GL-Class and the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
The start of production for this new car shows that BMW is committed to upgrading the factory, which is now 20 years old and has a workforce of 7,000. The plant will get a $1 million upgrade by 2016, increasing production capacity by 50% to 450,000 vehicles annually. The X6, X5, X4 and X3 models are already being built at the Spartanburg plant.
Speaking recently at a press conference in Munich to announce the company's annual results, and prior to the latest announcement, the chief executive of BMW, Norbert Reithofer, said: "The US will stay a market with great potential for us. This is why we are evaluating the possibility of increasing capacity in the US."