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Old 10-14-2010, 10:35 AM   #1
BMW is becoming more of an American company...
pilotman
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posted by pilotman

Does it matter to any of you if the 3 series will be built in the US?

I have always heard of ancedotal reports that US built BMWs aren't as reliable...but I have never owned one.

Interesting that Mercedes is now building C-Class in US, after 25 years of German production.

There is some speculation that the next 3 will be built in US....seems to be one reason why the new US built X3 is cheaper than outgoing model.

Wonder how the German auto unions feel about this?

****************************

BMW may build fourth model in U.S. to challenge Lexus
Chris Reiter / Bloomberg News
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world's biggest maker of luxury cars, may add a fourth model to its South Carolina factory to challenge U.S. market leaders Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz.
"There's always room on top," Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said in Spartanburg, S.C., at an event to mark the addition of the factory's third model, the X3 sport-utility vehicle. "We have ambitious goals for the U.S."

BMW spent $750 million to make room for the revamped X3 in Spartanburg, which comes in addition to the plant's current X5 and X6 SUVs. An additional volume model for the U.S., the world's largest market for luxury cars, could be added in South Carolina, said Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW's production chief.
BMW is investing in the facility to reduce foreign currency exposure, which currently stands at more than $14 billion, Reithofer said. About 70 percent of the vehicles built at the site are exported from the U.S., and more than 65 percent of the value of a vehicle built in South Carolina is sourced from North America, BMW said.
"It would make sense for BMW to assemble the 3-Series compact in the U.S. to compete with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Automotive in Lexington, Mass. The BMW brand sold 397,103 3-Series cars last year out of total deliveries of 1.07 million.
No-Brainer
"The 3-Series is a no-brainer, if you're looking to reduce currency exposure; that's their volume player," Lindland said. "That's a business case that's got to be studied."
Daimler, the world's second-largest maker of luxury cars, said last December production of its best-selling C-Class sedan would be moved to its Alabama factory, ending the model's assembly in Sindelfingen, Germany, after more than 25 years.
BMW fell 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to 50 euros at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Frankfurt. The stock has jumped 57 percent this year, valuing the carmaker at 31.9 billion euros.
The maker of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models plans to sell at least 250,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2010, a gain of more than 10 percent, and aims to expand its share, executives at the Munich-based carmaker said yesterday. The U.S. high-end market will gradually return to pre-crisis levels over the next three to four years, the CEO said. BMW is targeting sales of 300,000 in the U.S. longer term.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101014/...#ixzz12M6GrIRa
This article has been viewed 13744 times.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by pilotman View Post

I have always heard of ancedotal reports that US built BMWs aren't as reliable...but I have never owned one.
That explains the sudden acceleration on Toyota's vehicles.

Are VW less reliable from Mexico plants than the ones built elsewhere?
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:48 AM
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frankly I never really bought into the idea of a correleation bertween reliability and point of assembly

HOWEVER, my two good friends who are high level engineers at Nissan will swear up and down that the Japanese engineered and built Infinitis tend to be better screwed together (i.e. less rattles, etc.)

that's not really the point here though...its really more that BMW will probably shift production of the 3 series (one of their highest volume sellers) to the US to avoid currency exchange.

MB has already done so, and Audi will then be in real trouble.

Sucks to be a German autoworker, I guess....they are being slowly done away with, since building cars in Germany for export is too expensive now...
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pilotman View Post
Does it matter to any of you if the 3 series will be built in the US? ...
No, it wouldn't matter to me. I would still trust the assembly quality unless there were statistical evidence to the contrary.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:56 AM
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My Nissan built in Mexico and so far it got dent left and right everytime I poke my finger.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:57 AM
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Pretty soon, they will drive like an American car.
Ever heard of the "gentleman function" in the 7 series?
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotman View Post
Does it matter to any of you if the 3 series will be built in the US?

I have always heard of ancedotal reports that US built BMWs aren't as reliable...but I have never owned one.

Interesting that Mercedes is now building C-Class in US, after 25 years of German production.

There is some speculation that the next 3 will be built in US....seems to be one reason why the new US built X3 is cheaper than outgoing model.

Wonder how the German auto unions feel about this?

****************************

BMW may build fourth model in U.S. to challenge Lexus
Chris Reiter / Bloomberg News
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world's biggest maker of luxury cars, may add a fourth model to its South Carolina factory to challenge U.S. market leaders Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz.
"There's always room on top," Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said in Spartanburg, S.C., at an event to mark the addition of the factory's third model, the X3 sport-utility vehicle. "We have ambitious goals for the U.S."

BMW spent $750 million to make room for the revamped X3 in Spartanburg, which comes in addition to the plant's current X5 and X6 SUVs. An additional volume model for the U.S., the world's largest market for luxury cars, could be added in South Carolina, said Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW's production chief.
BMW is investing in the facility to reduce foreign currency exposure, which currently stands at more than $14 billion, Reithofer said. About 70 percent of the vehicles built at the site are exported from the U.S., and more than 65 percent of the value of a vehicle built in South Carolina is sourced from North America, BMW said.
"It would make sense for BMW to assemble the 3-Series compact in the U.S. to compete with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Automotive in Lexington, Mass. The BMW brand sold 397,103 3-Series cars last year out of total deliveries of 1.07 million.
No-Brainer
"The 3-Series is a no-brainer, if you're looking to reduce currency exposure; that's their volume player," Lindland said. "That's a business case that's got to be studied."
Daimler, the world's second-largest maker of luxury cars, said last December production of its best-selling C-Class sedan would be moved to its Alabama factory, ending the model's assembly in Sindelfingen, Germany, after more than 25 years.
BMW fell 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to 50 euros at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Frankfurt. The stock has jumped 57 percent this year, valuing the carmaker at 31.9 billion euros.
The maker of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models plans to sell at least 250,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2010, a gain of more than 10 percent, and aims to expand its share, executives at the Munich-based carmaker said yesterday. The U.S. high-end market will gradually return to pre-crisis levels over the next three to four years, the CEO said. BMW is targeting sales of 300,000 in the U.S. longer term.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101014/...#ixzz12M6GrIRa
This has come up ever since BMW started building cars in South Africa, or Leipzig, or Mexico. The fact is that the management of the plant is responsible for the quality. Workers will respond to the expectations and the directions of management. A well-managed plant will produce a well-built car. Bad management results in bad cars.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave 330i View Post
Pretty soon, they will drive like an American car.
Ever heard of the "gentleman function" in the 7 series?
Actually, no. Can you enlighten us?
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:35 PM
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I am so curious....about Gentleman Function.

The "Gentleman Function" is an option in the iDrive directory under front seats which allows the driver to take control of the passenger side front seat. Any adjustment you can make on the driver's seat can be done on the passenger seat but with the driver doing the... er, driving. The feature may at first seem overly gimmicky, and the naming convention chauvinistic, but after a call to BMW, the feature makes perfect sense. Well, at least in a German kind of way.

bummer..sounds like "control freak function" for me.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:17 AM
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the whole face of the auto industry is changing. There are some interesting times ahead.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GiaGiaJa View Post
I am so curious....about Gentleman Function.

The "Gentleman Function" is an option in the iDrive directory under front seats which allows the driver to take control of the passenger side front seat. Any adjustment you can make on the driver's seat can be done on the passenger seat but with the driver doing the... er, driving. The feature may at first seem overly gimmicky, and the naming convention chauvinistic, but after a call to BMW, the feature makes perfect sense. Well, at least in a German kind of way.

bummer..sounds like "control freak function" for me.
Sounds much more German than American. Makes post #6 even more puzzling. My 1999 528 has many features that didn't show up on American cars until several years later, if at all.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:52 PM
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When I first started selling cars (Nissans) in 1986 we had Japanese and American-built Sentras (Smyrna, GA.). No doubt about it, the American ones were inferior. It was most obvious, even visibly so as the rubber exterior bits like windshield seals, black bumper covers, etc. all began oxidizing almost immediately on the US-built, and not at all on Japanese. There were several other noticeable differences. My next stop, Honda, same thing. The Japanese Accords made of better materials, also better fit and finish. We had plenty of customers refuse delivery based on assembly point. The only similar BMW comparisons that could be drawn were with the SA built versus German E46 sedans. They were very close, I couldn't tell a difference, yet again, we had buyers refuse SA-built vehicles.

For me the point to be gleaned is that the jobber/supplier issue is more salient than the assembler issue.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:23 AM
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The only problem I have with US built is the loss of ability to do European Delivery.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon S. View Post
When I first started selling cars (Nissans) in 1986 we had Japanese and American-built Sentras (Smyrna, GA.). No doubt about it, the American ones were inferior. It was most obvious, even visibly so as the rubber exterior bits like windshield seals, black bumper covers, etc. all began oxidizing almost immediately on the US-built, and not at all on Japanese. There were several other noticeable differences. My next stop, Honda, same thing. The Japanese Accords made of better materials, also better fit and finish. We had plenty of customers refuse delivery based on assembly point. The only similar BMW comparisons that could be drawn were with the SA built versus German E46 sedans. They were very close, I couldn't tell a difference, yet again, we had buyers refuse SA-built vehicles.

For me the point to be gleaned is that the jobber/supplier issue is more salient than the assembler issue.
Fair enough but, again you could argue that manufacturer is responsible for the QC of the parts from a supplier and if they approve inferior parts with different materials or qualities from a supplier in a foreign country it is their fault for allowing the supplier to be different. There is no inherent reason that trim work can't be made to the same quality or of the same material in the US or South Africa as it is in Germany. I've owned 3 German built BMWs (E90, E92, E65) and one American built (E70) and I can't tell any discernible difference in how they are assembled.

Kind of a funny BMW supplier story, My father-in-law works for Exide who is now producing batteries for BMW. When they first started the evaluations to be an approved supplier they were furnished prints to build the parts to. At this point I believe there was an Italian company manufacturing the batteries. When the BMW engineers showed up to do the evaluations they found something that did not fit their fixtures like the production battery did. Apparently they kind of acted like they weren't surprised that us dumb Americans can't even follow prints. It turns out the Exide part was built accurately and to the print but, the go/no go gauge they built was fitted off a production Italian battery that was actually out of BMW spec for one reason or another.

Last edited by hotrod2448; 10-18-2010 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:04 PM
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I would only buy a BMW made in Germany. It just doesn't seem right to have them built elsewhere
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:42 PM
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BMW 3 series cars are made in India and Egypt, among other countries. Any readers from there? Some of those countries have extremely high taxes on cars and reductions for locally built cars.

Quite a few South African 3 series cars come to the US.

I think any quality differences might be from using different suppliers for the new assembly location.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:41 AM
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Actually the previously manufactured Z-4 is one of BMW's most trouble free models. The fit and trim meets any BMW standard. The only problem is w/ the N52 (German sourced) engine (valve lifters etc) The American assembly worker can only use the materials given - it's not that the workers are bad - it's the materials. GM finally figured this out and now has some of the best cars in the World.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:59 AM
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I guess BMW is going the Toyota way. The bean counter's politics is one reason why I stirred away from Mercedes in a hurry. The US manufactured Mercedes were notoriously unreliable worldwide. By the way, the SA made E46 do have the reputation of being less reliable and have fit/finish issues. I have owned two German made E46 and never had as many problems as newer car a friend of mine had from South Africa. Between transmission failures, rattling of the door sills and what not... I don't know. I have not seen the statistics but BMWs built in any other place than Germany takes away a lot of their charm and what they represent. They would certainly lose a point of differentiation but BMW are looking to steal Lexus and buyers, it is the way to go. Losing a few purist or enthusiast on the way probably doesn't matter...
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:10 AM
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Interesting Article
http://www.southafrica.info/doing_bu...ss/rosslyn.htm
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:56 AM
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I have a Spartansburg, SC built '06 X5. Fit and finish are top-notch. No rattles, creaks or anything of the sort. I bought it with 85K miles and it now has 122K. Other than typical wear and tear items, no probs.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:07 AM
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I have Spartansburg, SC built '03 X5, with 51k. No complaints. My non-BMW mechanic tells me X5's are least problematic of all BMW's he services (as well as other German makes, and Jaguar). Owning my own business, I know that a committment to quality starts at the top and must be part of the culture and the practice. From my perspective it seems that is the case with the American built X5, although a German built vechile has its appeal due to the history of Germany made cars and other products. German made watches have a distinct look, feel and performance, not unlike a BMW or Mercedes. As the world becomes more internationally integrated, I hope these individual cultural qualities are not lost.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:25 PM
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[QUOTE=pilotman;5544250]Does it matter to any of you if the 3 series will be built in the US?

I have always heard of ancedotal reports that US built BMWs aren't as reliable...but I have never owned one.

Interesting that Mercedes is now building C-Class in US, after 25 years of German production.

There is some speculation that the next 3 will be built in US....seems to be one reason why the new US built X3 is cheaper than outgoing model.

Wonder how the German auto unions feel about this?

Since some of them had to work during their usual Xmas vacation to keep up with demand, I doubt that they are too concerned.

Last edited by ProRail; 01-02-2011 at 02:26 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:50 PM
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Cars are mass produced, mostly by robots, in very controlled environments.

Seventy five percent of the car is made up of parts from 3rd party suppliers.

It makes no difference where the car is assembled - south African produced e46's were not less well built or less reliable than German built models.

It's 2011, there's no such thing as a true German, or American or British car any longer (unless you go boutique, and even then....).
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:37 AM
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For me the point to be gleaned is that the jobber/supplier issue is more salient than the assembler issue.
+1

The quality of the parts has a lot to do with the quality and durability of the finished product.


VW Rabbits assembled at the Westmoreland plant were terrible but not because of where they were built. VW chose to build the car with cheap American parts. Cheap interiors, cheap brakes, cheap everything.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:32 AM
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