BMW has announced that the company will invest nearly US$900m and add 300 new jobs in 2012 at its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant where it is to add a new model called X4.
The announcement was made during a ceremony to commemorate a production milestone - 2,000,000 vehicles have rolled off the assembly line since the company began US production in 1994.
Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW Group Board Member responsible for Production, revealed that production of the new BMW X4 will take place at the Spartanburg plant, spurring significant investment and job creation necessary to prepare the facility for the new model.
“The X4 is to be a sleeker, restyled version of the second generation X3,” said just-auto new product specialist Glenn Brooks. “The working name for the project is 'Advanced Sports Tourer'. The project was confirmed by BMW Group's CEO Norbert Reithofer in September 2011. Expect the X4 to be built alongside the X3 from 2013.”
BMW said that it plans to be able to produce 350,000 units at Spartanburg in the mid-term.
"This is one reaction to the rising global demand for our BMW X Models," Arndt said.
With the addition of 300 new jobs this year the plant will raise production capacity to 300,000 units.
By the end of the year, the plant will employ nearly 7,500 people at its more than 4.0 million square foot facility.
In 2011, the plant produced 276,065 vehicles for over 130 markets around the world representing a 73% increase versus 2010. Seventy percent of the vehicles produced (192,813) were exported making BMW the largest automotive exporter to the non-NAFTA countries.
According to Arndt, throughout the world, more that 117,000 X3's were sold in 2011 representing a 156% growth of this vehicle versus its predecessor.
Since 1994, the Spartanburg plant has undergone four major expansions and produced 6 different BMW models and their variants (318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6, X3). Employment has grown from 500 in 1994 to more than 7,000 today.