|BMW confirms that a new seven-passenger X7 will join the many other models built on an expanded Spartanburg, NC assembly plant. (Photo: BMW)|
“We will expand the plant’s annual production capacity by 50 percent up to 450,000 vehicles by the end of 2016," said Dr. Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management at BMW. "Today’s capacity is around 300,000 vehicles. This investment will also create an additional 800 jobs, increasing the total workforce to 8,800 on site."
|BMW already produces the X3, X4, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M at the Spartanburg, NC facility. (Photo: BMW)|
"The Spartanburg plant is an important building block in our international network of 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries today and makes a vital contribution to profitable, globally-balanced growth,” explained BMW production manager Harald Krüger. “Our US plant is the best example of our successful strategy of ‘production follows the market’."
|BMW’s Spartanburg, NC assembly plant is a sprawling complex that will soon grow even larger. (Photo: BMW)|
That said, expansion of the Spartanburg plant is expected to take two to three years, so the X7 won’t likely start arriving in showrooms until 2017 or 2018 according to industry analysts. When it does reach the market, the X7 will give BMW a vehicle to compete with three-row luxury rivals such as the Audi Q7 (and the rumoured upcoming Q9), Mercedes-Benz GL, Infiniti QX60 and Lexus GX 460.
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