Blog: Long day travelling
Dave Leggett | 8 March 2006
I am in my hotel (Westin Poinsett) room in Greenville, South Carolina, now, having checked in, had a shower and purchased 24 hours of high speed internet access. The long flight was actually quite pleasant and the US immigration procedures at Atlanta were not as time consuming as I'd feared.
The hours to kill on the flight at least gave me a chance to look over some background material on BMW's Spartanburg plant.
I will get the chance to interview senior management here and there are a few things I'm looking forward to finding out a bit more about. One is the flexibility gain achieved by changing the plant set-up from two manufacturing lines (one each for Z4 and X5) to one 'flexible' line for both models. The new single flexible line can apparently handle both models and also a third, so I'd be interested to know how that works and where BMW reckons capacity at the plant stands now (was 150,000 units per annum). And then there's the question of this third model itself - most likely the 'space functional concept' that will rival Mercedes' R-class. I'll try and find out what I can on timing and likely volumes. It seems to be quite late to market from what I can gather (2008 on the market, according to one source).
But right now I'm off for some food and fresh air, body clock truly messed up. Cloudy here by the way, but much warmer than London and there is blossom on the trees.
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