Production of the first pre-production models of the new BMW X7 Sports Activity Vehicle has commenced at the BMW Group Spartanburg plant, in South Carolina, the German automaker announced.
Long before the presentation of the production car at the end of 2018, the vehicle will undergo various tests under partially extreme conditions.
Knudt Flor, head of the BMW Group Spartanburg plant: “We are proud to produce the BMW X7 here in Spartanburg, the home of our X models. This is a very special vehicle and our employees are looking forward to yet a further member of the X family. Together with the BMW X7, a total of five BMW X models will be exported from Spartanburg to all four corners of the globe.”
At the plant, the production of pre-series models serves to secure and optimize future series production. Consequently, BMW X7 pre-production models already use the same assembly line as the BMW X5 and BMW X6 production models. An especially trained team realizes the series production process for new vehicle models at the plant and qualifies employees for future series production.
The pre-production models built at the BMW Group Spartanburg plant are handed over to development department specialists, who require them for homologation, registration as well as for diverse testing purposes such as endurance tests and test drives under extreme conditions in the desert regions of Death Valley or on the ice and snow-covered slopes of Scandinavia.
The pre-production model is fitted with its camouflage wrap while still at the plant. The conspicuous striped patterns are designed to help conceal the new SAV’s final look as far as possible.
In Spartanburg, the BMW Group produces BMW X models for the USA and the global market.
With record production figures of more than 411,000 units in 2016, Spartanburg is currently the BMW Group’s largest plant worldwide. Around 70% of the vehicles produced in Spartanburg are exported to 140 countries throughout the world. According to official figures, the BMW Group is therefore the largest vehicle exporter in the U.S. measured in export value. Maximum annual production capacity stands at around 450,000 vehicles.
The BMW Group Spartanburg plant employs more than 9,000 people; a further 1,000 jobs are to be added by the year 2021. Each day, 1,400 BMW X3, X4, X5 and X6 models come off the assembly line at the Spartanburg plant; these will be complemented by a fifth series, the BMW X7, for which the Spartanburg plant is currently preparing.
To date, the BMW Group has invested US$ 8 billion in the production location and has built around 3.9 million vehicles since being taken into operation on 8 September 1994.
Due to the pre-series vehicle status, technical details like fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, etc. will be communicated later next year.