Not only is the BMW’s largest factory in the world, Spartanburg is also home to the X Series as the production site for the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7.
Spartanburg – BMW’s largest plant globally
The success of the X Series cannot be ignored at the Spartanburg factory. Located in the southern state of South Carolina (USA), Spartanburg is a romantic city surrounded by the Blue Ridge mountains. The city is also known as the home of the BMW X Series.
Built in June 1992 and in operation since 1994, the Spartanburg factory is BMW’s largest in the world with 11,000 employees. Currently, the majority of X Series models are produced at the Spartanburg factory such as the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7. Each day, this factory produces about 1,400 vehicles of all kinds. Each year, about 450,000 vehicles are produced from the Spartanburg factory.
BMW X Series – a pioneer in luxury SUVs
In 1999, the Bavarian automaker launched the X5, the first model of the X Series. While most SUVs at that time were built on a pickup platform with a body-on-frame style, emphasizing the ability to run off-road, the BMW X5 went the other way. X5 is built on a monolithic chassis (unibody) with a sporty appearance, powerful engine and emphasis on normal road operation (on-road).
Because of this, BMW did not use the SUV concept for the X5, replacing it with SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle). Currently, these two concepts are not different when BMW gradually upgrade the off-road capabilities for the X Series. In addition to everyday travel, the X5 is also used as a platform for bulletproof vehicles. The most famous bulletproof X5 owner is former football player David Beckham.
In 2003, BMW continued to launch the second model of the X Series, the X3, after the success of the X5. With a smaller size and lower price than X5, X3 has a wider customer base. The X3 is the top-selling SUV in the X Series, according to J.D. Power & Associates – consumer data analysis company in the US. This is also the largest X3 supplier in the world. As of 2017, more than 1.5 million X3s have been shipped from the Spartanburg factory.
In 2008, the third member of the X Series family – BMW X6 – was launched. Unlike the two previous models, the X6 is classified by BMW as the Sport Activity Coupe (SAC) due to its hybrid coupe design. The car has a sloping roof to the back with a sporty ribbed design. BMW X6 is the opening model for the popular SUV hybrid coupe movement later on.
When fuel becomes the issue, a small car with a small engine capacity that is not too large is a reasonable choice. BMW X1 – the smallest member of the X Series debuted for this reason. X1 is considered an urban car with small size, economical engine and attractive price.
After that, BMW also introduced BMW X4, BMW X2 and BMW X7 in 2014, 2017 and 2019. X7 is BMW’s last gap filler in the SUV group, which is a large SUV. With the X7, BMW has covered the range of products in the SUV segment, from small to large sizes, 5 seats to 7 seats, from pure SUV to coupe hybrid SUV.