BMW Manufacturing Co. Celebrates 10 Years of Roadster Production
BMW Manufacturing Co. celebrates the 10th anniversary of the rebirth of its classic roadster this year.
BMW was the first automaker to reintroduce a luxury roadster to the public with the Z3 Roadster in 1996, sparking the rebirth of sporty two-seaters. Built at BMW Manufacturing Co. in Upstate South Carolina, the Z3 was the first BMW to be exclusively manufactured outside of Germany.
“This is a tremendous milestone for this company,” said Robert Hitt, BMW Manufacturing’s manager of media and public affairs. “When we introduced the Z3 Roadster in 1996 as our signature vehicle, we knew there was a demand, but we had no idea that it would become a cult classic, with a worldwide following.”
And 2006 marks the 10th anniversary of Roadster Homecoming, a three-day event on Labor Day weekend that attracts roadster owners from as far away as Alaska and as close as just down the road to visit the factory where their vehicle was built.
The Z3 made its debut as James Bond’s vehicle of choice in the movie GoldenEye. By the time the last Z3 was produced in June 2002, nearly 300,000 had been built and shipped to more than 120 markets worldwide.
The Z4 Roadster, the first next-generation vehicle launched at the Spartanburg plant, began production in October 2002 and the 100,000th Z4 was built in November 2004.
The latest additions to the roadster family, the updated Z4 and the all-new Z4 M Roadster began production last month, and production of the Z4 coupe and Z4 M coupe will begin in the spring.
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW’s North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; an information technology consulting and systems integration firm in South Carolina; and a design firm in California.