BMW Zentrum Museum to Reopen October 17.
Spartanburg, S.C. BMW Manufacturing announced today that the iconic Zentrum museum, located beside the largest BMW plant in the world, will reopen to the public on Monday, October 17. In a ceremony at the Zentrum, Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing, and Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America, celebrated the reopening by unveiling the restored classic BMW 507 once owned by the “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley.
“The Zentrum is symbolic of many things, but first and foremost, it is the only BMW museum in America,” said Manfred Erlacher. “It is also a landmark, a gathering place, and a venue where BMW displays and celebrates its history.”
While BMW’s historic fleet will still be an important part of the Zentrum experience, visitors will have more opportunities to see current BMW models, including X models manufactured at the Spartanburg plant and BMW sedans. Several striking displays promote BMW sub-brands such as the BMW i and BMW M. The museum also includes an impressive 15×25-foot video wall that broadcasts high-definition films about the factory as well as BMW commercials and product films.
“We are very excited with the changes and new exhibits that Associates and customers will experience,” said Amber Scruggs, Zentrum and Communications Specialist. “We’re also thrilled to showcase the classic BMW 507 once owned by Elvis Presley.”
Elvis’ BMW 507 was originally discovered in the summer of 2014 in California. The condition of the car was a cause for concern; however, a project managed by BMW Group BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC Press Information
Classic succeeded in restoring the automobile. After almost two years of restoration work, BMW Group Classic presented Elvis’ BMW 507 for the first time in public at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, in August.
The BMW Zentrum is only the second location where the classic car has been displayed. The BMW 507 with chassis number 70079 will be on view for visitors exactly as it was when soldier Elvis Presley took delivery of the car in December, 1958: with paintwork finished in Feather White, the 150-hp V8 aluminum engine under the hood, center-lock rims, black-and-white interior, and a Becker Mexico radio. Elvis’ BMW 507 will be at the Zentrum until spring of 2017.
During the ceremony, BMW also announced the completion of an arts project with students from the Metropolitan Arts Council and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Six projects were unveiled and have been placed in three different buildings across the BMW campus. They are:
“Path Along the Parkway” by Allison Anne Brown (MAC), on display at the Assembly North hall.
“Global Communications” by Ryan Calloway (MAC), on display at the Site Operations Center.
“Human + Machine” by Courtney Davis (SCAD), on display at the Site Operations Center.
“Bloom” by Nicholas Rivero and Sarah Linebaugh (SCAD), on display at the Site Operations Center.
“Embroidered Copper” by Cassidy Russell (SCAD), on display at the Zentrum Museum.
“Auto Agate” by Suzanne Vitti (MAC), on display at the Zentrum Museum.
“Cultural engagement is an important value of the BMW Group’s corporate social responsibility,” said Sky Foster, Department Manager, BMW Corporate Communications. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC Press Information
“Just as creativity is essential in the field of art, it is also vital for an innovative company like BMW. We applaud these artists for their original and inspiring work.”
With the suspension of factory tours, the Zentrum remains an important connection to customers and the community for BMW. Factory tours will originate from the Zentrum once tours resume in 2018.