BMW is expecting its new X4 model to attract a new type of customer to the luxury brand, according to Ian Robertson, the carmaker’s sales chief. The X4 is touted as a sportier version of the X3 sports utility vehicle donning a lower roofline and coupe styling. The X4 follows BMW’s launch of the X6 as a sportier alternative to the X5.
Robertson told Automotive News Europe that with the X6, BMW has attracted an entirely different buyer than for the X5. He remarked that they expect a similar occurrence for the X4 versus the X3.
According to BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer, the German carmaker will roll out the X4 in 2014. BMW will build the X4 at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, where the carmaker is expanding its annual production capacity from 300,000 vehicles to 350,000.
The German carmaker builds all its X models for global markets at its Spartanburg site except the X1 compact SUV, which is produced in Leipzig, Germany, and in China. BMW has tagged its Spartanburg plant as the sole production hub for the X3, X5, X6 and the X4. Robertson said that BMW needs more capacity at its Spartanburg plant not only for the X4 but also for the current X range.
He noted that BMW could have sold another 35,000 units of the X3 in 2012 if the Spartanburg plant had been able to produce them. BMW posted a 27-percent surge in global sales for the X3 in 2012 to 149,853, as well as a 17-percent jump in global sales for the X1 to 147,776. The German carmaker also logged a 3.5-percent hike in global sales for X5 to 108,544 units. It also recorded a 7-percent increase in global sales for the X6 to 43,689 units.