The highest quality and one of the longest built BMWs is no more. As the last E83 X3 rolled off the line at the Magna Steyr owned Graz plant earlier this week. Production of the new BMW X3, which will be launch in Germany on November 20th also began this week at the BMW Spartanburg plant in South Carolina.
While the new BMW X3 may be bigger and better in every way, we ‘ll always miss the original X3. It wasn ‘t perfect and didn ‘t win many comparisons but it had something most modern cars do not, character to go along with its best in class handling.
The E83 X3 Ends Production / Official Release
Within the last 7 years, the first-generation BMW X3 has written an extraordinary success story. In Graz alone, 605,498 units of the agile all-rounder came off the assembly line during this period. Together with the vehicles produced within the framework of the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) assembly in Russia, Egypt and Thailand, the total figure adds up to 614,824 units. The last vehicle of the first model generation, a Vermilion red metallic BMW X3 xDrive35d, will remain with the Magna Steyr company, where it will be used in future as an executive car. A BMW X3 xDrive20d with full emergency vehicle specifications that had left the assembly line shortly before, will be donated by the BMW Group to a non-profit making organisation. For many years now, the BMW X3 has proved itself to be an ideal emergency vehicle for police and doctors. At the end of its model life, yet another vehicle will now take on this important task in the service of the general public.
As the first and, for some time, the only premium vehicle of its kind, the BMW X3 launched in 2004 and boasting intelligent four-wheel drive BMW xDrive, outstanding handling characteristics and a variable interior, gave reason for spontaneous enthusiasm and a lasting positive response on the international automotive markets. As a result, the concept of establishing benchmarks in the field of driving dynamics within the competitive environment of all-terrain vehicles, which had previously already been successfully pursued in the case of the BMW X5 in a higher segment, was endorsed yet again.
Driving pleasure, premium quality and, in addition, outstanding efficiency helped the BMW X3 become extremely popular and achieve excellent results in independent surveys. Experts have honoured the BMW X3 with several awards for outstanding safety, customer satisfaction, reliability and stable value. These included top rankings in the “Customer Satisfaction Index” (CSI) issued by the J.D. Power market research institute, as well as in the breakdown statistics kept by the Allgemeine Deutsche Automobilclub (ADAC). Twice in succession, the BMW X3 was voted both “Four-Wheel Drive Car of the Year” and “Off Road Vehicle of the Year” respectively by readers of the magazines “Auto Bild Allrad“ and “Off Road”.
The segment established by the first-generation BMW X3 is now also served by other premium vehicle manufacturers. The new BMW X3 faces up to intensified competition with consistently optimised qualities in all relevant disciplines. The engines on offer for this Sports Activity Vehicle boast the best performance and, thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics, the most favourable fuel consumption and emission levels as well. The vehicle’s entirely newly developed suspension technology facilitates a clear advantage both in terms of agility and driving comfort. With a loading capacity that can be increased from 550 to 1,600 litres and 40 : 20 : 40 split-folding rear seat backrests, the new BMW X3 offers the largest amount of space and at the same time the highest level of variability in its segment. Moreover, there is a choice of innovative equipment features, driver assistance systems and mobility services by BMW ConnectedDrive that is unique within the competitive environment. For example, the new BMW X3 is the only model in its class to offer the options of a Head-Up Display and Internet access inside the vehicle.
With the model change, the production of the BMW X3 is being relocated to the BMW Spartanburg plant, a facility that has become the expertise centre for BMW X models. So far, the US American location of the BMW Group’s global production network has produced BMW X5 and BMW X6 models. Thanks to substantial extension work and with an investment of around $750 million, the prerequisites for the production of the new BMW X3 and the associated increase in the annual production capacity to around 200,000 vehicles have been created at Spartanburg.
The collaboration between the BMW Group and Magna Steyr also lives on within the framework of the new production structures. In the meantime, production of the MINI Countryman has started in Graz. The fourth model of the brand is not only the first MINI to feature four doors and a large tailgate, but can for the first time also be fitted with four-wheel drive technology. In this way, the Austrian production partner’s expertise in the field of all-terrain vehicles, which has already been demonstrated in the case of the BMW X3, continues to be comprehensively utilised.
The F25 X3 Begins Production / Official Release
BMW Manufacturing announced today that production of the new BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle got underway at the South Carolina plant.
In early 2008, BMW Group announced that it would invest $750 million in the South Carolina plant, its largest investment in South Carolina to date. This commitment paved the way for construction of a new Assembly Hall built exclusively to produce the BMW X3 along with a significant expansion to the existing Paint Shop. This 1.5 million square foot addition increases the plant ‘s total footprint to over 4.0 million square feet.
“The launch of the new X3 will mark a historic moment for this plant.I am confident that the BMW X3 is once again going to make our plant a leader in the Sports Activity segment,” stated Josef Kerscher, President, BMW Manufacturing Co. in Spartanburg.
Within the last 7 years, the first-generation BMW X3 has been an extraordinary success story for the BMW Group. The BMW X3 began production in 2004. After production of over 600,000 units, the last vehicle of the first model generation, a Vermilion red metallic BMW X3 xDrive35d, came off the line in Austria yesterday.
With the model change, production of the X3 was relocated to the South Carolina plant based on existing manufacturing proficiency of the BMW X5 and X6 models. The US plant has become the expertise center for the BMW X Models. The addition of the third model to the plant ‘s vehicle mix has created several hundred new jobs and increased BMW ‘s total investment in South Carolina to $4.6 billion since 1992.