Monday, 31 March 2014

BMW Group expands U.S. plant


BMW Group expands U.S. plant in South Carolina

The BMW Group is expanding capacity at its U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “To meet strong global demand for our BMW X models, we will invest a total of one billion U.S. dollars in our Spartanburg plant by 2016. This will increase annual production capacity by 50% up to 450,000 vehicles from 300,000 currently,” explained Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Norbert Reithofer, at a special ceremony in Spartanburg on Friday commemorating 20 years of production in the U.S.

Among the guests attending the ceremony held on the plant grounds were U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker; Governor of the state of South Carolina, Nikki Haley; Board of Management member for Production, Harald Krüger; and head of BMW Plant Spartanburg, Manfred Erlacher.


BMW X7 to be built in Spartanburg

BMW X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M models have been manufactured so far in Spartanburg, BMW’s centre of competence for X vehicles. Friday’s event celebrated the start of production of the BMW X4. Norbert Reithofer also announced a further expansion of the X model family: “With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our U.S. plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the U.S.”

During the ceremony, BMW Board of Management member for Production Harald Krüger talked about the importance of the U.S. to BMW Group’s overall production strategy: “The BMW Group aims for a good balance of growth between all markets and continents. The Spartanburg plant is an important building block in our international network of 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries today. It makes a vital contribution to profitable, globally-balanced growth.”

Krüger continued: “The BMW plant in Spartanburg is the best example of our successful strategy of ‘production follows the market’. The state of South Carolina has supported us as a valuable and reliable partner throughout our 20-year involvement in the region and played a decisive part in making the U.S. our second home.”


Spartanburg workforce increases to 8,800

The plant’s expansion will also increase the number of employees at the U.S. facility significantly. “Expansion at the site will create 800 new jobs, bringing the total workforce in Spartanburg to 8,800,” Reithofer explained. “It will also make Spartanburg the largest plant in terms of production capacity in our global production network,” he added.

According to a study released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the annual export volume of BMW’s Spartanburg plant totals USD 7.5 billion – which makes the BMW Group’s American facility the largest vehicle exporter in the United States, based on total exports excluding NAFTA. Approximately 70% of Spartanburg’s production is exported to BMW markets around the world.

A recent analysis published by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina found that BMW Group activities in South Carolina had a total impact of around USD 16.6 billion on the state economy. The BMW Group’s presence in South Carolina supports a total of 30,000 jobs. The study also cites the importance of the BMW Group for South Carolina’s economic standing, improving technological and manufacturing competitiveness and establishing a high level of training.

Since the start of production in 1994, Spartanburg has built more than 2.6 million vehicles for BMW customers around the world. The models BMW X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M are all produced at the plant. In the near future, a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW X5 will also be produced here. A total of 297,326 vehicles were manufactured in Spartanburg in 2013, with around 1,100 vehicles currently produced per working day. The Spartanburg site presently employs around 8,000 staff.

For more information regarding the first ever BMW X4, which arrives soon at Specialist Cars in Luton, Stevenage and Tring please CLICK HERE.

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Thursday, 6 March 2014

The new BMW X4


The new BMW X4 combines the hallmark features of the BMW X family with the sporting elegance of a classical coupé, resulting in BMW’s first Sports Activity Coupé (SAC) for the premium mid-size segment.
Its dynamic pedigree is underlined by a wide range of cutting-edge high-performance engines, the xDrive all-wheel-drive system and a high level of standard equipment. A choice of three diesel engines, a comprehensive package of BMW EfficientDynamics measures and the extensive connectivity provided by BMW ConnectedDrive are all elements in a driving experience allows sporty performance and incredible efficiency.

At 4,671 millimetres in length, it is just 14 millimetres longer than the X3, but at 1,624mm high it is also 36 millimetres lower to the ground and cuts a dynamic profile with its perfectly balanced proportions and distinctive sporting character.


Model Power (hp) Torque (Nm) 0 – 62mph (seconds) Top speed (mph) Combined (mpg) CO2 emissions (g/km) Price  
OTR
BMW X4 xDrive20d SE 190 400 8.0 (8.0) 132 (132) 52.3 (54.3) 143 (138) £36,590
BMW X4 xDrive30d xLine 258 560 (5.8) (145) (47.9) (156) £44,890
BMW X4 xDrive35d M Sport 313 630 (5.2) (153) (47.1) (157) £48,990




Design

The new BMW X4 follows in the footsteps of the BMW X6, visually combining the character of a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) with the sporting elegance of a classic coupé to create an unmistakable presence on the road.

Based on the same platform as the BMW X3, the BMW X4 displays a sporting character of its own.  The large air intakes positioned on the outer edges of the front end and the character lines in the front apron lend the X4 a more muscular and agile appearance. This lowers the car’s visual centre of gravity, signalling its sharper dynamics. The effect is further enhanced by the fog lamps sited below the signature twin headlights.

The coupé-like roofline reaches its highest point over the front seats, reflecting the traditional driver focus of BMW cars, before dropping gently down towards the trailing edge of the boot lid. The standalone design of the BMW X4 is further reinforced by the fresh interpretation of the signature swage line running along the flanks of BMW models.  For the first time this is split into two the first section rises smoothly from the front wheel arches to the rear door handles, while the second part accentuates the powerful sculpting of the rear wings.


The contoured C-pillars, muscular shoulders and the broad and low-set rear end, hints at the performance of the BMW X4 before the engine has even been started.

The interior of the new BMW X4 reveals a harmonious synthesis of sportiness and exclusivity. The driver focused cabin uses premium materials including subtle electroplated accents, a high-gloss black-panel look and aluminium trim strips in the wood panelling to create a luxurious ambiance.

The driver and front passenger sit 20mm lower and the rear passengers 28mm lower than in a BMW X3, accentuating the classic coupé feeling.   It is a sensation reinforced by the rear bench seat, which comes with the type of continuously moulded side support normally only provided by two individual seats, but still offers space for three passengers.
The BMW X4 has a load capacity of between 500 and1,400 litres which, thanks to the standard 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats, can be used in a wide variety of ways. Everyday usability is further enhanced by the standard-fit automatically opening tailgate.


Equipment levels

The BMW X4 offers a level of standard equipment well above that found on the BMW X3. As standard it comes with an automatically opening tailgate, Variable Sport Steering, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, front and rear Park Distance Control, Performance Control and Xenon headlights.  Inside the BMW X4 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats, a Sport leather steering wheel, Heated front seats and BMW Business Media package are all standard.

For an additional £1,500 the xLine trim level will also be available on the BMW X4.  This includes an exclusive18-inch light-alloy wheel, Satin Aluminium exterior trim, Dark Copper interior trim, Sport seats and exclusive xLine leather upholstery.

The popular M Sport model costs an additional £3,000 over the SE and offers even greater dynamics and visually boosts the X4’s sporting appeal.   The M Aerodynamic bodystyling, High-gloss Shadow Line trim exterior trim and an exclusive 19-inch M Sport light-alloy wheels lends the BMW X4 an even more sporty appearance, while the M Sport suspension enhances the ride.  BMW M door sill finishers, Sport seats and an Aluminium Hexagon interior trim add the finishing touches.


Handling: comfortable ride with agile handling

All BMW X4 models have a sporty suspension set-up and come with BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system as standard. This ensures that the drive is split between the rear wheels continuously and as required, which further improves traction, turn-in and directional stability. Working in tandem with the standard Variable Sport Steering, these systems allow the BMW X4 to deliver driving dynamics that surpass even those of the BMW X3 in terms of sportiness. An xDrive status display uses three-dimensional graphics to keep the driver informed of the car’s body roll and pitch.


Engines

From launch the new BMW X4 will be available with a choice three diesel engines, all of which meet the EU6 standards. BMW TwinPower Turbo technology ensures that performance is maintained while fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are kept to a minimum.

The BMW X4 xDrive20d is powered by a newly developed 2.0-litre diesel engine with an all-aluminium construction. This power unit develops 190hp at 4,000rpm with a peak torque of 400Nm. As a result, the X4 xDrive20d requires just 8.0 seconds to sprint from zero to 62mph. The BMW X4 xDrive20d comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox but can be optionally specified with an the eight-speed automatic transmission which brings fuel consumption down to 54.3mpg and sets the CO2 emission at 138g/km.

The 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine in the BMW X4 xDrive30d, paired with the standard eight-speed Sport automatic transmission, returns a combined mpg of 47.9 while CO2 emissions are just 156 g/km.
These parsimonious emissions don’t impact the performance with the engine outputting 258hp at 4,000rpm with a peak torque of 560Nm from as low as 1,500rpm, while it accelerates from zero to 62mph in 5.8 seconds.

The xDrive35d engine tops the BMW X4 line-up. The 3.0-litre diesel delivers 313hp and puts a peak torque of 630Nm on tap from between 1,500 and 2,500rpm. With its standard-fitted Launch Control, the X4 xDrive35d launches from zero to 62mph in a mere 5.2 seconds and goes onto a top speed of 153mph. However, the X4 xDrive35d still posts fuel consumption of just 47.1mpg and emits only 157g/km CO2.


EfficientDynamics

The unparalleled suite of EfficientDynamics technologies also minimises the fuel consumption and emissions of the new BMW X4. Features such as Auto Start- Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units are standard across the range.  Optionally available are 17-inch aero wheels with reduced-rolling-resistance tyres, which reduce the CO2 emissions of the BMW X4 xDrive20d and xDrive30d by a further 7g/km.

The BMW Driving Assistant offers additional potential for fuel saving. This technology uses route data supplied by the car’s navigation system to identify situations in advance which will require the car to slow down – e.g. on the way into towns and villages, speed limits etc. – and gives suitable recommendations.


BMW ConnectedDrive

The BMW ConnectedDrive features available for the new BMW X4 offer class-leading technology in the link-up of driver, vehicle and the outside world.

Providing added safety and greater convenience in the BMW X4 is the optional full-colour Head-up Display, which projects all important driving information and the assistance system displays into the driver’s field of vision. The latest-generation Professional Multimedia Navigation system, with ECO PRO route guidance, now teams up with the iDrive Touch Controller. Safety and convenience can be further enhanced by option including the anti-dazzle High-beam Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus including Pedestrian and Collision Warning with City Braking function, Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go function and Lane Departure Warning.

The optional BMW ConnectedDrive services allow customers to access smartphone applications such as AUPEO! or Deezer as well as innovative mobility services via the built-in SIM card.  Remote Services and Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) can likewise be used from the comfort of the car.

Online Entertainment provides direct access to music services such as rara or Napster with their millions of music tracks as well as audiobooks. The intelligent e-Call function is triggered automatically or can be used manually to alert the authorities. As soon as the crash sensors report an airbag deployment, the system sends the vehicle location and all key information to the BMW Call Centre via the built-in SIM card, enabling fast and effective assistance at the accident location.

The BMW X4 arrives in dealerships on 12 July, 2014 and will be priced from £36,590 OTR for an X4 xDrive20d SE.

For the best offers on new BMW in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, please visit our regularly updated website CLICK HERE.
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