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      04-28-2019, 12:13 PM   #1
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20 years of the BMW SUV: inside BMW's US mega Spartanburg factory

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Came across this article - posted yesterday in Autoexpress. Found it interesting and hence thought I'd share.

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https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/10...s-mega-factory

20 years of the BMW SUV: inside BMW's US mega factory

To celebrate 20 years of the BMW SUV, we take a tour of BMW's gigantic Spartanburg factory in the US

Spartanburg is BMWs home away from home. The firms factory in the United States directly employs around 11,000 people and supports another 17,000 across South Carolina accounting for a staggering 1.6 per cent of the states total workforce.

Spanning an under-roof campus that measures approximately seven million square feet, BMWs Spartanburg facility was constructed in just 23 months. The first model (a white E36 318i, in case you were wondering) rolled off the line back in September 1994.

Since its inception, Spartanburg has produced more than 4.5 million cars, earning its place as the global hub of BMWs extensive range of X-badged SUVs. Thats big business for the sprawling plant; of the 2.1m BMWs built around the world in 2018, almost 800,000 were SUVs.

Rest of article at https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/10...s-mega-factory
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      04-28-2019, 02:34 PM   #2
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Good read. Thanks for posting.
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      05-01-2019, 10:01 AM   #3
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Wow I can't believe it's been 20 years already, how time flies. Will never forget one of the first X5 designs that was published. And the X4 was a raised car with all wheel drive concept.

The only thing that's disappointed me with BMW SAV's over the years is the lack of the "Utility". Meaning every SUV should come with a Trailer Hitch, and offer a sleek Front Push Bar as they originally did. You may not like or need them but at least they still were available to purchase.
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      05-01-2019, 10:07 AM   #4
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I've had an extended tour of the original plant prior to the first X5. It's really impressive and I highly recommend taking a tour if you're ever there.
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      05-01-2019, 10:23 AM   #5
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20 years! wow I'm getting old for
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      05-01-2019, 10:25 AM   #6
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I still love the look of the older X5s with those fat tires some of them have.
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      05-01-2019, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCG View Post
Wow I can't believe it's been 20 years already, how time flies. Will never forget one of the first X5 design that was published. And the X4 was a raised car with all wheel drive concept.

The only thing that's disappointed me with BMW SAV's over the years is the lack of the "utility". Meaning every SUV should come with a Trailer Hitch, and offer a sleek Front Push Bar as they originally did. You may not like or need them but at least they're still available to purchase.
"Utility" wasn't the selling point of the original X5, thus the term "SAV" rather than "SUV". You COULD get a trailer hitch as an option, but agreed that most of the SAVs that BMW puts out these days are on the "soft" side. That original push bar you posted was only cosmetic and non-function - you know that, right? In any case, the original X5 served it's intended purpose perfectly for me, even until this day!


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I still love the look of the older X5s with those fat tires some of them have.
Still have and love mine after 15 years with it. Not as fat as those 315s on those iS, but these 285s are still pretty fat even for today's standards.
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Last edited by XMetal; 05-01-2019 at 11:42 AM..
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      05-01-2019, 11:38 AM   #8
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      05-01-2019, 11:44 AM   #9
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When the grill was normal size
Even those were considered enormous back in the days, but the X7 just look silly now - just like this emoji
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      05-01-2019, 11:45 AM   #10
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As a Z3 owner, I found it sad that the article ignored a big chunk of the factory's history. From 1995 to 2002, they produced the Z3 roadster and coupe, to include the ///M variants. From 2003 to 2008, the factory produced the Z4 models. So, for 14 years of it's existence it was producing fun BMWs
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      05-01-2019, 12:19 PM   #11
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Still one of the best Trucks I've ever owned. Still feels/drives better then a ton of new suvs on the market lol.

But in all seriousness, 5 mil is a huge milestone to hit. I give my congrats to the plant! And thanks for building two of the x5's I've loved.
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      05-01-2019, 12:52 PM   #12
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Wow, 20 years! Time flies. I've had two E53s, an E70, E71, I'm on my 2nd F86 and have grinned for all those miles.
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      05-02-2019, 06:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa13 View Post
Still one of the best Trucks I've ever owned. Still feels/drives better then a ton of new suvs on the market lol.

But in all seriousness, 5 mil is a huge milestone to hit. I give my congrats to the plant! And thanks for building two of the x5's I've loved.
Frank Stephenson is credited for having pinned the design of the first X5. Great looking vehicle still 20 years later...
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      05-04-2019, 09:53 PM   #14
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My company builds the current x3 underbody panels in Georgia. It’s cool to be a small part of that.
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