BMW has announced plans to expand capacity at its U.S. plant in South Spartanburg, South Carolina. An investment of one billion U.S. dollars by 2016 will increase production capacity to 450,000 vehicles from 300,000 currently. The expansion will create also 800 new jobs.
Currently the plant produces X3, X5, X5 M, X6, X6 M and since friday also the more compact X4. The biggest news part of this announcement is the confirmation that the plant will also build an all-new X7 – the larger X model, going against Mercedes GL and Land Rover Range Rover.
Chairman of the Board, Norbert Reithofer said: “With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our U.S. plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the U.S.”
Details about the X7 are very limited, but it is expected to ride on a modified platform of the next-generation 7 Series, which will arrive next year.
The new 7 Series platform uses both aluminium and carbon fibre elements, making it way lighter than the outgoing model.
The confirmation of the X7 also makes it very possible that a Rolls-Royce badged SUV could arrive on the same platform soon after.
The X7 is expected to arrive in 2018 with prices starting from around £70,000.
Note: pictured above is the new X5.