Manfred Erlacher will become the next president of BMW Manufacturing Co. in Spartanburg, South Carolina, effective November 1, 2013, BMW Group has announced. Erlacher is currently managing director of BMW’s Leipzig site in Germany, a post he has held since January 2009. He will be replacing Josef Kerscher, who had held the post since 2007.
Kerscher, on the other hand, will become managing director of BMW’s Dingolfing plant Germany, replacing Wolfgang Stadler who is joining Jaguar Land Rover’s board of directors. Erlacher was responsible for overseeing the expansion of BMW’s Leipzig plant to build the new BMW i3 electric car and i8 plug-in hybrid.
He will be replaced by Milan Nedeljkovic, head of assembly at the plant. Kerscher, who has been with BMW since 1979, was responsible for overseeing the surge in production at the Spartanburg plant from 105,000 vehicles in 2006 to over 301,000 in 2012.
Spartanburg plant produces the BMW X3, X5 and X6 crossovers. BMW Group posted a 21-percent year-on-year increase in sales in the United States to 33,729 units. The group logged a 9-percent year-on-year surge in sales in the US to 173,291 units.
The characteristic looks of the BMW X models are achieved by employing signature BMW design cues and combining them with commanding road presence, versatility and strength. The new BMW X5 reinterprets this design language, thereby allowing it to sport a more modern and more appealing appearance.
Now in its third generation, the new X5 still features long wheelbase and a short front overhang as well as upright A-pillars. Of course, there is the short gap between the front axle and instrument panel. The front end is defined by the BMW kidney grille, as flanked on the sides by twin circular headlights and front fog lamps. This grille is bordered below by the bumper, which has X-shaped contour lines that help identify the new SAV as part of the BMW X model family.
For the third-generation, the broad-set kidney grille of the new BMW X5 now extends to the headlight units. Likewise, the signature BMW twin circular headlights also extend into the X5’s side panels, with their light rings leveled off at the bottom and the top portion overlapping with an LED accent light. The lights feature a 3D design and are accentuated by sweeping chrome inserts.
BMW is allowing customers to specify LED front foglamps and the Adaptive LED Headlights – marked by the horizontal light sources in the center of the light rings -- as options. Interestingly, xenon headlights are standard on the BMW X5 xDrive50i and BMW X5 M50d models.