In what can only be seen as a remarkable development in flexible automobile manufacturing, BMW has restructured its Spartanburg, South Carolina from a two-line setup to a single line assembly system. With this development, BMW will be able to produce two radically different models on the same line-- Z4 roadsters and X5 SUVs.The new setup will allow the plant more fluid model combinations-- it will be able to produce from 100-percent X5s to a 60-percent/40-percent split between Z4s and X5s.
Line employees were trained offsite beginning last November when the final pre-facelift Z4s rolled off the line and the line reworking began in earnest.
The new system is so flexible that it will most likely accommodate a third model in the form of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class fighting X6 (essentially a large lux'd-out minivan) that's expected for 2008.
BMW's Spartanburg plant just observed building their one-millionth car earlier this month.