SEVILLE, Spain – BMW’s Dingolfing, Germany, plant appears to be a top candidate to build a new multipurpose vehicle.
“Dingolfing might be chosen for the production of this model because of the size of the model and because we still have capacity there,” said Burkhard Göschel, BMW board member responsible for development and purchasing. He spoke at the launch of the BMW M6 here.
BMW’s so-called Raumfunk-tionaleskonzept or space-functional concept is due in 2008.
Sources say it will be based on a new platform for the 7 series upper-premium sedan, also due in three years. The current 7 series is built in Dingolfing alongside 5- and 6-series models. Dingolfing’s average capacity of 280,000 cars a year easily can be adjusted. Last year the plant made 304,300 cars.
At the Geneva auto show in March, when BMW CEO Helmut Panke announced plans to make the car, he said it would be built in Germany but he didn’t say in which of the company’s four plants. The other plants are in Regensburg, Munich and Leipzig.
“You have to see in which production line your cars can be installed, and also look at the technical barriers,” Göschel said.
In Geneva, BMW also said it would build an SUV/coupe cross-over. That model will be built at BMW’s US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it makes Z4 roadsters and X5 SUVs.
Internally, the crossover is called the X-Sport, a name that could also be used for the production model. An alternative name is the X6. Supplier sources say BMW’s annual production target for the X-Sport is 35,000 units. Also due in 2008, the SUV/coupe is targeted at the Porsche Cayenne.
The multipurpose vehicle will compete against the Mercedes-Benz R class, which goes on sale in Europe early next year.