Production of the new BMW X5 begins tomorrow
At 6 a.m. tomorrow, associates at BMW Manufacturing Corp. will begin building the new X5 sports activity vehicle that will have more than 2,100 new parts, three new engines and four new colors.
Teams at BMW Manufacturing and the almost 500 companies in the worldwide supplier network, including the 39 suppliers in South Carolina, have been working together to plan a seamless model changeover as the new X5 begins production. And the more than 4,700 associates have been trained on new processes for building the new X5s.
The 2004 updated X5s will drop into Assembly at 6 a.m. tomorrow, and there will be only a 10-car gap between the current and new models. The factory produces about 400 X5s a day.
This update occurs at the mid-life point of the X5, which first rolled off the production lines in September 1999.
“It is normal in a BMW vehicle life cycle, which is about seven years, to make a series of improvements to stay ahead of the competition,” said Robert Hitt, manager for Media and Public Affairs. “In this case, the new X5 is virtually a new model with more than 2,100 new parts. In addition to the cosmetic changes to the exterior front end, under the skin this is a new X5 with an all new power train.”
In order to make the most of the new powertrain update, the new xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system helps to ensure optimum performance in all driving situations. The xDrive sets new standards among all-wheel drive vehicles for road holding and agility. The xDrive distributes the drive power ideally between the front and rear wheels. During cornering, for instance, the power distribution provided by the xDrive significantly minimizes understeer or oversteer.
The new X5 has three new engines: a 3-liter, six-cylinder with 225 horsepower that includes a new six-speed manual transmission, a 3-liter, six-cylinder diesel with 215 horsepower and a 4.4-liter, eight-cylinder with 315 horsepower that include a new six-speed automatic transmission.
The four new exterior colors are Olivine, Sterling Gray, Kalahari Beige and Toledo Blue. And the 2004 X5 will have five new interiors: truffle brown, black, beige and lava gray leather, and a poplar smoke gray wood trim.
BMW Manufacturing Corp. is a subsidiary of BMW Group in Munich, Germany. Its website address is www.bmwusfactory.com. 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; a production facility in Mexico; and a design firm in California.