In an interview with Automotive News, BMW North America boss Ludwig Willisch talked about the Spartanburg plant expansion scheduled before 2016. Willisch is particularly excited about the planned 450,000 vehicles annually, up from today’s 350,000 units, which gives the company more SUVs to sell in the US. Currently, there is a shortage of X3 and X5 vehicles, but the new capacity increase will help relieve that problem.
Willisch also spoke with enthusiasm about the future BMW X7. “The X7 is further out, at least two years, Willisch said. “It comes with the next generation of light trucks.” Furthermore, the U.S. boss spoke about his involvement in getting the X7 approved by the BMW board. “The X7, which is a car that I am proud of — we were able to convince the company that this is exactly what we need in the United States,” Willisch added.
Despite the shortage of crossovers, Willisch predicts that the BMW brand’s U.S. sales will hit another record in 2015, up from 339,738 last year. The increased capacity at the Spartanburg plant could also lead to another 10,000 units sold in the US.
BMW will invest $1 billion in its factory here by 2016 to expand capacity – making the plant its biggest worldwide.