BMW is expected to announce plans to build a large 7-seat crossover called the X7 at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, with the facility scheduled to undergo an upgrade costing several hundred million dollars.
According to sources cited by Reuters, the addition of the new model would increase annual production at the Spartanburg plant to 400,000 vehicles, a third more than its current output. BMW’s U.S. subsidiary said a “significant economic and product announcement” would be made on March 28 at an event at its Spartanburg factory. BMW builds a family of crossovers of various sizes in Spartanburg, including the X3, X5 and X6.
Opened in 1994, the plant currently employs more than 7,000 workers.
“The U.S. will stay a market with great potential for us. This is why we are evaluating the possibility of increasing capacity in the U.S.,” BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said Wednesday at the company’s annual results press conference in Munich.
BMW and rival Mercedes-Benz plan to expand their luxury crossover portfolios to seven vehicles each by 2020, with new entries in multiple sizes and price points. Audi is planning six new crossovers over the same period.