BMW has announced that its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina will be the sole producer of its up and coming X4 crossover vehicle that will be rolled out in 2014. To accommodate the X4 at the Spartanburg plant, the German carmaker will expand the site’s annual capacity from nearly 300,000 units to 350,000 units.
The Spartanburg plant currently produces all of BMW’s X models, except for the compact X1. Ian Robertson, BMW's board member for marketing and sales, told Automotive News, that they need more capacity in the plant, not only for the upcoming X4, but also for the current X range. According to Robertson, BMW could have sold 35,000 more X3s around the world if the plant had the capacity to produce them.
Despite the need for more production capacity, BMW will still build the X3, X5, X6 and the upcoming X4 only at its Spartanburg site. BMW builds the X1 in Europe for global markets and in China for local Chinese market. According to Robertson, the X4 will complement sales of the X3, without cannibalizing sales – the same way that the X6 has complemented sales of the X5.
Robertson noted that X6 attracted a different set of buyers from the X5, and BMW expects the same thing to happen between the X4 and the X3. He remarked that the X4 will be the sportier version of the X3.
The fastest selling model in the X range in 2012 is the X3, which grew 27 percent to 149,853 units. It is followed by the X1, which jumped 17 percent to 147,776 units. The X1 is followed by the X5, which rose 4 percent to 108,544 units. The X6, meanwhile, hiked 7 percent to 43,689 units.