First customer X5 Sports Activity Vehicle rolls off the line
The first BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle yesterday rolled off the manufacturing line at BMW Manufacturing Corp. It was a 4.4-liter, eight-cylinder X5 with Pearl Beige exterior and Pastel Green interior.
It has been a 35-month journey from concept to production, marking the fastest vehicle start-up in BMW history.
A $600 million expansion of the South Carolina factory increased the size of plant from 1.2 million to 2.1 million square feet, resulting in a higher production capacity and one of the auto industry’s most flexible manufacturing operations. Second production lines have been added in Body and Assembly to build the X5.
A 60,000-square-foot engineering center was built adjacent to the manufacturing complex. The new analysis center provides the capability to better integrate the engineering and manufacturing functions. The facility includes testing laboratories for electrical analysis, endurance and reliability, noise reduction and road simulation.
The South Carolina workforce already has increased from 2,000 to 2,300 associates and will continue to increase through calendar year 2000.
The X5 is the industry’s first luxury sports activity vehicle, combining the powerful acceleration and exceptional handling of a car with advanced traction technologies and full-time four-wheel drive.
Until now, the South Carolina factory has been involved in X5 pre-series production to check and examine to ensure manufacturing processes for the new vehicle meet BMW’s quality standards before customer production begins.
The X5 designers borrowed the best concepts from BMW sedans to apply to the SAV blueprint, resulting in the first vehicle that brings BMW’s passion for performance to a vehicle that can take you and your gear any where you want to go.
Shorter than a 5 Series, wider than a 7 Series and with more ground clearance than any other BMW, the X5 packs utility into a nimble vehicle.