BMW Manufacturing Milestone

As you can discern from this photograph taken yesterday in the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the vehicle manufacturer has produced its one millionth BMW X5 there.

As you can discern from this photograph taken yesterday in the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the vehicle manufacturer has produced its one millionth BMW X5 there. The X5 was launched in the plant in 1999. The vehicle was a controversial one at the time, as BMW making SUVs was seemingly unthinkable. Subsequently, it has not only launched the X3, but its success in the segment has been remarkable, with the company claiming that it is “the most successful premium vehicle manufacturer” in this segment.  Seems that the common wisdom wasn’t right.

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The BMW Manufacturing facility, it is worth noting, which launched vehicle operations in September 1994, was the first plant of a European vehicle manufacturer to operate successfully in the U.S. (Volkswagen, of course, operated a plant in Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1988, so arguably the longevity of the BMW plant gives it that status. To say nothing of the facts that (1) it is still in production and (2) the company recently invested $750-million for an expansion to handle the production of the next-generation X3.)

Here’s something that is a bit out of the ordinary: Some 60% of the X5s produced in Spartanburg have been exported to 120 markets.

And a real kicker: the one millionth car, a Black Sapphire X5 xDrive 35i with a Cinnamon Brown Nevada Leather interior is not going to be housed in a BMW museum, but is being shipped to a customer. . .in China.