BMW to build the X4 model only at Spartanburg site in South Carolina

Article by Anita Panait, on March 21, 2013

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.

BMW X4 may be conceived from the BMW X3’s blueprint, but from the moment anyone sees it, the new SAV shows its own vibrant character and an even more enthusiastic personality. At 4,671 mm long, it is only 14 mm longer than the X3, but it is 36 mm closer to the ground (height: 1,624 mm) and presents an elegant shape with its balanced dimensions and distinct character.

The big air intakes located on the front outer edges and the crisp character details in the front apron give the X4 a stronger and more agile look. The car's centre of gravity appears nearer the road, indicating its cleaner dynamics. The effect is augmented further by the fog lights below the hallmark dual headlamps (both available with LED options). This configuration defines the attractive "three-eyed" face of all BMW X models.

The X4’s coupe-like roofline is highest over the front seats, pointing to the BMW’s traditional focus on drivers, before gently sliding down to the tailgate’s edges. These stretching lines effectively accent the sports coupe personality of the X4. The separate BMW X4 design is reinforced more by the new interpretation of the trademark swage line that runs along every BMW’s flanks, which now, for the first time, splits in two.

The first portion smoothly rises from the front wheel arches to the rear door handles, accenting the vehicles excellence dynamism, while the second portion accents the rear wings’ strong sculpting. The shaped C-pillars, with its brawny shoulders, expresses the perfect continuation of the theme, as well as the wide and lowered rear end, reminding drivers and passengers of the grander performance to come from the new X4 even before they board.

Topics: bmw, bmw x4, production

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