German luxury automaker BMW plans to invest $600 million and add 1,000 workers through 2021 at its sprawling plant in Spartanburg, S.C. to prepare for production of X models, including the redesigned X3 revealed Monday.
The investments solidify the future of the company’s largest plant globally, which produced an all-time record 411,000 units in 2016 after 23 years in operation. The plant, which now has more than 9,000 employees, exported about 70% of the vehicles it made last year.
The latest model to be made at the plant is the redesigned, third-generation X3 sports car, which debuted Monday, showing off a slightly longer wheel base and a new three-dimensional grille.
The 2018 model-year car, officially dubbed the X3 xDrive30i, is expected to hit dealerships in November. Pricing was not announced Monday.
The factory will also begin producing the new BMW X7 in late 2018.
“We are honored to have so many friends here and immensely proud to call South Carolina ‘our home away from home,'” BMW Manufacturing CEO Knudt Flor said in a statement. “It is our goal, and our commitment, to remain a strong and reliable partner for our associates, our customers, South Carolina, and the United States.”
Featuring what BMW calls a “kidney” shaped grille, hexagonal fog lights and downward-sloping roof spoiler, the X3 is designed with a sporty splash. It will also get a factory-installed trailer hitch for the first time.
The standard model gets a 2-liter, twin-turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 248 horsepower and 0-to-60 time of 6 seconds.
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