(Photo: The first-ever BMW XM at final assembly of BMW Plant Spartanburg. Credit – Steve Wilson)
Series production for the first-ever BMW XM has started at BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, S.C.
The BMW XM will be built alongside the BMW X5, BMW X6, and BMW X7 on the same assembly line.
“We are excited to add the first-ever BMW XM to our plant’s portfolio,” said Robert Engelhorn, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing.
“The modern, future-oriented design and powerful performance of the BMW XM has generated a lot of enthusiasm. As the center of competence for X models, BMW Plant Spartanburg is prepared to build this vehicle with the highest premium quality that our customers deserve.”
The BMW XM is the first high-performance car with an electrified drive system from BMW M. A plug-in hybrid system comprising a V8 gasoline engine and a powerful electric motor adds to the BMW XM. The BMW XM also is the first BMW M original since the BMW M1.
The BMW XM will arrive at dealers worldwide in spring 2023. BMW officials say key sales markets will be the United States, China, and the Middle East.
The start of production for the BMW XM marks the end of a headline year at BMW Plant Spartanburg.
The year began with the U.S. Department of Commerce confirming that BMW Manufacturing led the nation in automotive exports by value for the eighth consecutive year. Plant Spartanburg’s 257,876 exports in 2021 had a total export value of more than $10.1 billion.
In March, Engelhorn announced that the BMW Group would invest more than $200 million to construct a 219,000-square-foot press shop on the plant site. Construction of the press shop is well underway; production will start in the summer of 2024.
In April, BMW Manufacturing affirmed its continued commitment to social responsibility with an announced donation of $1.25 million to restore and preserve eight acres of urban wetlands at Unity Park near downtown Greenville, S.C.
The donation also supports construction of a series of low-impact boardwalks and overlooks through the wetlands area.
During September, associates celebrated an important milestone – the 30th anniversary of BMW’s groundbreaking for the South Carolina plant. The celebration came during the same month as production of the six millionth BMW built in the United States, a Java Green Metallic BMW X6 M.
BMW Manufacturing’s new state-of-the-art logistics center also opened in September. The $100 million project included the construction of two private bridges connecting the logistics center to the plant site.
The 1 million-square-foot logistics center consolidates two warehouses and their material into one building, making processes faster, leaner, and more efficient.
One week later, Plant Spartanburg took a giant step forward in workforce development with the opening of its new training center.
The $20 million, 68,000-square-foot training center features multiple classrooms for both professional development and technical training, an amphitheater, and a unique concept of outdoor meeting and workspace that includes wireless capabilities.
The year’s biggest announcement came on October 19, as the BMW Group revealed its electromobility plan for the United States.
BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management, Oliver Zipse, announced a $1.7 billion investment in its U.S. operation, including $1 billion to prepare Plant Spartanburg to produce electric vehicles. Another $700 million will be invested to build a new high-voltage battery assembly facility in Woodruff, SC.
By 2030, the BMW Group will build at least six fully electric models in the United States.
Since 1992, the BMW Group has invested nearly $12 billion in its South Carolina operations.
BMW Manufacturing is the largest BMW Group plant in the world, producing more than 1,500 vehicles each day and 433,810 vehicles in 2021, a record.
Company officials say the plant is an important part of BMW’s global production network and plays a critical role in meeting the high demand for BMW Sports Activity Vehicles in the U.S. and around the world.
Nearly 60 percent of its vehicles are shipped to about 120 global markets, making BMW the largest automotive exporter by value in the United States for eight consecutive years.
The model portfolio includes five top-selling BMW X models, five Motorsport X models, and two plug-in hybrid electric vehicle X models. The factory has an annual production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.