|Construction crews are currently expanding the existing body shop at BMW’s Spartanburg County facility and preparing to build a new body shop and paint shop. (Photo/Liz Segrist)|
By Liz Segrist
Published Oct. 5, 2012
Construction continues at BMW’s Spartanburg County plant as the German automaker prepares for the new X4 model and increased production.
A timeline for production of the X4 model hasn’t been released. BMW Manufacturing Co. President Josef Kerscher said during the X4 announcement in January that it would take two years to prepare the facility for the new model.
Construction crews are currently expanding BMW’s existing body shop by 170,000 square feet and installing new tooling and robots. This expansion is in addition to BMW building a 300,000-square-foot body shop on the plant site.
Construction crews are also preparing the site to build a 670,000-square-foot paint shop. Both expansions have a projected completion for the end of 2014.
The BMW X3 and X5 sports activity vehicle and BMW X6 sports activity coupe, as well as the future BMW X4, all will benefit from the body and paint shop expansions. The construction is part of the $900 million investment planned over the next three years that BMW announced in January.
That investment would prepare the plant for future expansions and for the increase of production capacity to 350,000 units per year. BMW is on target this year to build 300,000 units.
Specific details on the site location of the X4 assembly site are not yet available, but BMW officials said the X3 plant was built to expand with the “finger structure.” This design gives flexibility or expansion options and was “built with the future in mind,” BMW officials said during a plant media tour Thursday.
No X4 product details could be discussed at this time. The X4 sports activity vehicle will be the fourth model built at the Upstate factory, joining the X3, X5 and X6.
The company also announced plans to hire 300 people by the end of 2012, which it says it is on track to fulfill. The jobs are both full-time production jobs and support staff, such as human resources, IT and procurement. The expansion also includes plans for an additional 1,000 jobs by the end of 2014.