BMW want to make a annoucement on the 28th of March at their US plant in South Carolina, and they say it will be significant. Just looking at the list of people who will be there should tell some of the story. BMW Group Chairman Norbert Reithofer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Gov. Nikki Haley, Harald Krueger, head of the company's global production network, and Manfred Erlacher, president of BMW Manufacturing Co will headline the event.
So looking at who is going to the event, we have the chairman of BMW, meaning the annoucement is important to BMW from a financial and product standpoint. Both the US Secretary of Commerce and the Governer of South Carolina will be there, meaning there must be a political dimension ie. Jobs. Now let's drill down some more, we have the head of BMW's global production network and president of BMW Manufacturing Co, pointing us to a manufacturing related announcement. BMW hasn't highlighted any product people or marketing people as part of the announcement which is also significant.
The facts we have are as follows: this is likely an announcement which will have a great deal of financial importance to BMW
, relate to Jobs in the USA
and will involve global BMW production and US manufacturing specifically
BMW has already been hard at work on its $900 million expansion into the Spartanburg, South Carolina plant, in order to accommodate increased production volume and the addition of the X4 to the production line there. This annoucement could be one to highlight this expansion and tout its potential success, especially as BMW plan to start hiring for the new expansion, an expected 300 new jobs.
However, this could be something even more significant, and one we are speculating here involves the movement of another line of BMW cars to the US. New production of the 3-series or 5-series in the USA, would for example be hugely significant.
Other rumors also include creation of a new engine plant in the USA, but this has been ruled out by BMW Manufacturing Co. spokeswoman Sky Foster. That leaves the final possibilty of simply an all new model, say an X7? This just seems less likely, due to the lack of marketing and product people, but maybee it will just be an announcement of intent without showing an actual car.
In any scenario, this comes down to increasing production volume for BMW, as of course we know there is a fierce volume rivalry going on between BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi. Mercedes Benz has been making great gains this past year with their new CLA sales in the US, so any move to increase US volume will be likely. Remember, Mercedes-Benz does have significant production of their C-Class at their Alabama plant, which also started life with ML production, so its not such a far fetched idea to think BMW would want to bring some 3-Series production to the USA.
Make sure to keep tuned to BIMMERPOST on March 28, as we will bring you the news on this announcement as it happens