BMW's Spartanburg manufacturing plant will build M's biggest, baddest, and most controversial model ever.
The first BMW XM has started production at BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina, manufacturing facility. It will be built on the same assembly line as the BMW X5, X6, and X7 SUVs.
The vehicle was first unveiled a couple of months ago to varying opinions. We can't say we're particularly fond of what the XM stands for, for a plethora of reasons, but we can't deny that it is most likely going to sell as quickly as the company can produce them, especially in the USA, where M buyers care more about appearance. With the production of the SUV starting, and arrival at US, Chinese, and Middle Eastern dealers by spring 2023, we're officially in a new age of BMW M.
"We are excited to add the first-ever BMW XM to our plant's portfolio," said Dr. Robert Engelhorn, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. "The modern, future-oriented design and powerful performance of the BMW XM has generated a lot of enthusiasm. As the center of competence for X models, BMW Plant Spartanburg is prepared to build this vehicle with the highest premium quality that our customers deserve."
If you haven't heard much about the model, let us enlighten you. It's the second-ever car to be completely designed by BMW M since the M1, and it's the first electrified one.
It's meant to be a luxury volume seller more than anything, hoping to snatch buyers away from the likes of Bentley, Lamborghini, and Rolls-Royce. It also has impressive power, with the V8 hybrid system coming in two power outputs: 644 hp in the standard guise and 735 hp in the top "Label Red" form.
Production starting on the vehicle is the culmination of a very successful year for BMW in the US. It was confirmed again for the eighth consecutive year that BMW leads the nation in automotive exports by value. To put this in perspective, in 2021 the company exported 257,876 vehicles from its Spartanburg plant to the tune of $10.1 billion dollars.
Among many other announcements, in October, the company also announced a $1.7 billion investment in its US operations. $1 billion will be used to outfit the Spartanburg plant for electric vehicle production, and $700 million will go towards a battery assembly facility in Woodruff, South Carolina.
The BMW XM is sure to help bolster the company's success, It's just a shame what it represents; a selling out of BMW M's ethos for the sake of profits. The brand has somewhat compensated with the new 3.0 CSL, but limited to just 50 units, and not street legal in the USA, Americans are left without such compensation for the XM's egregious crimes.