BMW, for now, to rely on S.C. plant to build new X4
Robertson: "I need more capacity in Spartanburg, not only for the upcoming X4, but also for the current X range."
MUNICH -- Despite tight capacity to build its expanding crossover lineup, BMW AG says its Spartanburg, S.C., plant will be the sole global source for the X4 crossover coming next year.
BMW will expand Spartanburg's annual capacity from almost 300,000 units last year to 350,000 units, the company has said. The plant builds BMW's entire crossover lineup except the compact X1.
"I need more capacity in Spartanburg, not only for the upcoming X4, but also for the current X range," Ian Robertson, BMW's board member for marketing and sales, told Automotive News today on the sidelines of a company event here.
Complement, not cannibalize
Robertson said BMW last year could have sold 35,000 more X3s worldwide if the Spartanburg plant had been able to build them.
Despite a shortage of capacity, BMW plans to make the X3, X5, X6 and the upcoming X4 only in Spartanburg.
The small X1 is built in Europe for global markets, except for China, where it is locally produced.
Robertson said the X4 will complement the X3, without cannibalizing sales, as the X6 has complemented sales of the X5.
"With the X6 we attract a completely different buyer from the X5 and we expect the same happening for the X4 versus the X3," he said.
X4 will be sportier
Robertson said the X4 will be sportier than the X3.
Last year, global sales of the X3 grew 27 percent to 149,853 units, according to the company. X1 sales rose 17 percent to 147,776 units.
Sales of the X5 -- BMW's No. 3 selling crossover -- increased 4 percent to 108,544 units last year, while sales for the X6 grew 7 percent to 43,689 units.