BMW ends X3 (E83) production in Austria and begins X3 (F25) production in Spartanburg

by Tim Jones on September 1, 2010, 6:25 pm
BMW favors a smooth transition when carrying out a generation change. The end of production of the first generation of the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) was celebrated at the plant of the Austrian production partner Magna Steyr in Graz yesterday. Production of the new BMW X3, which will be launched on the German market on 20 November 2010, will begin today at the BMW Spartanburg plant in the US state of South Carolina. The new BMW X3 is a resolute continuation of the formula for success of the first SAV in its class. With further enhanced agility, noticeably optimized driving comfort, more space than any of its competitors and innovative equipment options, it offers the ideal prerequisites to inherit the position of its predecessor as the benchmark in the segment and to strengthen it further. 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 organization. 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 center 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 utilized.

Read more news about the new F25 BMW X3

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13 responses to BMW ends X3 (E83) production in Austria and begins X3 (F25) production in Spartanburg

ProRail commented:
September 2, 2010, 12:26 am

Just the facts, please. PR hype not needed.
S93D commented:
September 2, 2010, 9:50 am

Great article! One to keep accessible for the internet community to read for many years to come. Of particular interest is the number of X3s assembled in Russia, Thailand, and Egypt.
UncleJ commented:
September 2, 2010, 11:09 am

Interesting about the CKD assembly. Didn't know that before. Looking at the comparo pix the new one sure looks like the "old" X5 to me.
hpowders commented:
September 2, 2010, 12:42 pm

Spartanburg? Uh...oh!!!
STE92VE commented:
September 3, 2010, 1:24 pm

Don't knock Spartanburg unless you've toured the factory and found fault with BMW production practices.
AzNMpower32 commented:
September 5, 2010, 2:55 pm

It's kind a bit of sad news. The Graz factory produced good quality X3s and the X3 has historically scored awards for build quality in Europe. It'll be interesting to see how things turn out in Spartanburg.

Hopefully, better than my dad's 2010 X5.
UncleJ commented:
September 6, 2010, 10:24 am

The thing that would concern me is the fact that BMW is building a new model, on a new factory line (for the X3), with new workers (who have not worked on the X3 before). Historically with all marques (Mercedes, Nissan, VW, Hyundai and yes BMW) that have shifted production like this problems with the first (and second, and even third) year build have manifested themselves. Eventually this gets sorted out but who wants to be the Beta Tester?
Evlengr commented:
October 4, 2010, 1:55 am

Anyone notice they put a stripped down older model in comparison to an upgraded newer one?

Different tires/wheels, headlights, etc...
AzNMpower32 commented:
October 4, 2010, 10:23 am

The black E83 in the picture isn't really stripped down. It's probably an xDrive20d model but has upgrades like PDC, 17" Style 204 wheels, the partition cargo net, rear privacy glass, rain sensor and automatic headlights, and roof rails at minimum.
x3ronnie commented:
October 5, 2010, 6:34 pm

Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
It's kind a bit of sad news. The Graz factory produced good quality X3s and the X3 has historically scored awards for build quality in Europe. It'll be interesting to see how things turn out in Spartanburg.

Hopefully, better than my dad's 2010 X5.
What's wrong with your Dad's X5?
AzNMpower32 commented:
October 5, 2010, 7:11 pm

Originally Posted by x3ronnie View Post
What's wrong with your Dad's X5?
Airbag warning light (restraint system) tripped twice within a month, just about a month after delivery. Annoying wind whistle from the passenger side, not sure what causes it but it's audible everywhere in the cabin. Couple rattles in the cabin, not sure where they're coming from either (me thinks something in the door panels?). The cruise control stalk is a bit loose I think, because it clicks loudly every time I tap it (as opposed to my mom's 325i cruise stalk, which works silently).
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There's other things that aren't really faults or defects, but just a matter of design and engineering. The interior dash panels don't look very well-fitted or line up particularly evenly. The suspension is way too soft; the car bobs forward and backward every time one taps the brakes or accelerates lightly due to the massive weight shift. It just doesn't work on single-lane roads and the steering is more numb than ever. The power delivery isn't very linear (I will attribute this to a lower-than-minimum recommended cetane level in US diesel fuel).

The Nevada leather feels like vinyl especially on the door panels. The standard seats are uncomfortable no matter how I adjust them. The stereo is woeful and although I know it's the base system and don't expect a lot, I can't get the equaliser to adjust the way I want- the highs are too sharp and piercing, yet the overall sound is muddy. The instrument cluster centre display is too dim, and I wish the green indicator lights weren't at the very sides of the cluster.

When I worked at a dealership 2 years ago, part of my job was to drive all the cars up to the front and photograph them. Out of all the models I drove, the X5 was my least favourite. It simply felt big, cheap, and uninspired. Complete opposite of the 5er or 7er. But I don't often live at home and don't really drive his car much, so it's not like I really mind too much. (Until I go home and he insists that I drive it to the store)

Ironically, I'm the only one that can consistently park the huge thing correctly, lol.
x3ronnie commented:
October 5, 2010, 8:52 pm

Ouch! It definitely strikes me as bulky and lumbering. Certainly not X3 like. The real irony is that there is an M X5. That just seems excessive and contradictory. My 530 is similar to my first X3. Nice,but I want some more goodies. Driving a loaner is always frustrating when it has the goodies.
UncleJ commented:
October 7, 2010, 10:57 am

Lower than minimum cetane fuel is not a problem in all states. The omnipotent CARB in CA for example mandates a cetane level that approximates or exceeds the level in "premium" diesel and that is all that can be sold as "automotive" (includes trucks) fuel here. As a practical matter it is the only diesel fuel available.