BMW's plant in Spartanburg, S.C., will build a new crossover vehicle within three years.
The vehicle will use many components from the next-generation X5 SUV that goes on sale in two years, says Burkhard Goeschel, BMW board member for research, development and purchasing.
Styling concepts are being considered, Goeschel adds.
The crossover will be built in Spartanburg because the United States will be its primary market, he says. The same U.S. suppliers that produce parts for the X5 will deliver components for the new vehicle.
The four-door crossover will have sporty handling and a coupe-like exterior. It will be produced on the same line as the X5 and Z4 roadster, Goeschel says. It likely will seat five, like the X5, but it won't be as tall.
BMW has not named the vehicle.
Goeschel declined to estimate how much volume the crossover will add to the plant's 150,000-unit annual output, but he says the work force may grow.
At the Geneva auto show, BMW debuted what it calls a "space-functional concept" to be produced in Europe for sale there, although the automaker says it will sell some in the United States. The vehicle will go on sale in three years.
Says CEO Helmut Panke: "It will be completely different from anything currently offered on the market."