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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BMW to build next X3 in U.S. to counter strong euro

Automotive News Europe - May 15, 2007 - 8:00 am

MUNICH (Reuters) – BMW, the world's largest premium carmaker, will build the next-generation X3 mid-size sport utility vehicle in its U.S. plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the company said today.

"We will expand the production capacity of our U.S. plant in Spartanburg in the medium term from the current 140,000 to well over 200,000 vehicles per annum," CEO Norbert Reithofer said in a copy of a speech to be given at the carmaker's annual general meeting.

Reithofer confirmed the group's vehicle sales and earnings forecast for 2007, which foresees a rise in pretax profit adjusted for last year's one-off gain on a Rolls-Royce exchangeable bond and sales of over 1.4 million units.

The X3, first launched in January 2004 and refreshed in September of last year, is assembled in Austria by Magna Steyr, a unit of Canadian car parts giant Magna International.

BMW now builds Z4 roadsters and X5 SUVs in Spartanburg. It already has decided to build an all new coupe-shaped SUV crossover in Spartanburg dubbed the X6.

Reithofer, who has initiated the first strategic review at BMW since 2001, said in mid-March the group needs to build up its production volume in Spartanburg to roughly 200,000 units or more in the next two to three years to help hedge against currency fluctuations.

It built just 105,000 vehicles in Spartanburg last year.

Partly as a result, the company suffered adverse forex headwinds of 666 million euros ($902 million) in 2006 and another 677 million in 2005 given the strong euro.

BMW sold 31,291 units of the X3 in the United States last year, a marginal gain over the 30,769 delivered to customers in 2005.

Overall the group sold 114,000 units of the X3 last year worldwide, a gain of 3.0 percent.
SOURCE: Automotive News
 

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mg_zt_t
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Shrewd move though to take account of current currency exchanges .... plus buttering up the Yanks building it there where there's a strong market still for Monster Truck type clones should help sustain sales.
 

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Only for NA, Europe production will stay.

The X3 right now doesn't have an direct rival. It should be interesting to see with MB, Audi and perhaps even Porsche coming to this segment.
 

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Yes, the Freelander 2. But the onroad driving is something were the X3 is untouchable and it has more engine versions.

The most X3s are sold in Europe, ~70%+ are diesels, and while LRF2 has 1 diesel, BMW has 3, and more coming.
For the USA the 3.2 petrol of the LR F2 is no match for BMW's 3 litre, not to mention the 3.0 tt should be coming.

So the LR F2 is only partially a competitor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, the Freelander 2. But the onroad driving is something were the X3 is untouchable and it has more engine versions.

The most X3s are sold in Europe, ~70%+ are diesels, and while LRF2 has 1 diesel, BMW has 3, and more coming.
For the USA the 3.2 petrol of the LR F2 is no match for BMW's 3 litre, not to mention the 3.0 tt should be coming.

So the LR F2 is only partially a competitor.
Have you not read the Road Test reports around the world, they have all found the Freelander 2 to be much better than the X3.

In what way does the 3.2 i6 unit not compete with the X3 3.0si?

Large petrol engines are dead in Europe, Diesels are the way forward!
 

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Have you not read the Road Test reports around the world, they have all found the Freelander 2 to be much better than the X3.

In what way does the 3.2 i6 unit not compete with the X3 3.0si?

Large petrol engines are dead in Europe, Diesels are the way forward!

I've read them, and they said the X3 is a better driver's car, and more fun, and gives better fuel economy and better performance.

If diesels are the way forward why does LR offer just 1 diesel engine vs. BMW 3 ?!

As for the 3.2 I6, it's underpowered, and the LR also drinks more fuel (tough due to weight too and probably aerodynamics). And while petrols are dead in Europe, they represent 100% sales in the USA.

With just 2 engines, you can't fight BMWs 6, soon to be 8, engine variants.
 

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Not like BMW to even consider reducing production in a strong currency zone. ;)

That's not much of a problem since ~70% of production is destined for Europe, and on the X3's underpinnings the X4 will come. BMW's plants will continue to run at 97% capacity or more and Magna Steyr will get some other orders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
But they don't offer all engine variants in all markets

For instance in the UK, they only offer 5 for the X3.
 

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I've read them, and they said the X3 is a better driver's car, and more fun, and gives better fuel economy and better performance.
More fun... than what, root canal surgery?

it cant go off road, is ridiculously overpriced, the interior is rubbish, must be one of the ugliest cars you can buy... someone at work has one, for the money its frankly crap!
 

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And in America even less (no diesels and the 2.5 is gone), but then that's the whole point.

You have even up to 10/12 engines (for the 3 series) and you give to each market as many/little as needed.

The point is to keep things fresh (gradual introduction/FL/upgrades) and reach as broader markets as possible.
 

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More fun... than what,

Than any other SUV/4x4 ever build, as well as plenty of other cars with a much lower center of gravity.



it cant go off road,

Oh yes it can, tough the LR F2 will have an edge at one point, tough neither have Defender/Hilux off road capabilities.



is ridiculously overpriced, the interior is rubbish, must be one of the ugliest cars you can buy... someone at work has one, for the money its frankly crap!

Interior has been vastly improved with the FL.
Overpriced, yes, in no small measure due to taxes, but be happy you're not living in Holland were an X3 3.0 sd costs 100 000 euros.

Still it sells well, drives well and has good engines.
Want a real off roader, buy a Defender or Hilux, want more practicability, buy a wagon. Neither the BMW nor the LR make much sense, but than many vehicles don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Only for NA, Europe production will stay.
DarkOne - news reports seem to contradict you about production of the X3 staying in Europe. Magna are looking for alternative business as a result of the announcement.

See this article

Magna looks for new customers in Austria

April Wortham | Automotive News
May 16, 2007 - 10:54 am

Magna International Inc. says it talking with other automaker customers about assembling vehicles at its Graz, Austria, plant now that BMW AG is moving production of its X3 crossover to the United States.

Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW's Board of Management, said Tuesday, May 15, that the next-generation X3 would be built at BMW's plant in Spartanburg, S.C., as part of a plan to boost U.S. production capacity from 140,000 units to 200,000 units annually.

Magna Steyr in Austria has been the sole producer of the X3 since it debuted in 2003. In a statement today, Magna International said that while the end of the program is at the discretion of BMW, it expects to cease X3 production in 2010.

The X3 represented about 45 percent of the total vehicles assembled at Magna Steyr in 2006. Magna International also is a supplier to the Spartanburg plant, which currently produces the Z4 roadster and coupe and X5 crossover.

In 2006, BMW was Magna International's third-largest customer behind General Motors and DaimlerChrysler AG. BMW accounted for $4.31 billion in Magna's revenue last year compared with $4.01 billion in 2005.

Magna International ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 suppliers to North America with North American original-equipment automotive parts sales of $12.90 billion in 2006.
SOURCE: Automotive News
 

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Latest info tells me Magna should get X1/X2 production, while some X3 production could/should be shifted to Regensburg (due to USA capacity constrains; and maybe (some) Z4 production to be shifted to Europe).

I should find more from my sources in due time.
 
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