BMW says workers at its Greer plant will begin assembling the X4 sports activity coupe this spring, with the official launch of its latest model scheduled for next month.
The German automaker said it would unveil the model at the New York International Auto Show in April, and it took the wraps off the X4 with its first official photos accompanying the announcement.
The X4 brings the number of models assembled at BMW Manufacturing Co. to four — along with the X3 and X5 sports activity vehicles and the X6 coupe.
It was a big reason the company announced in 2012 a $900 million expansion of its massive plant along Interstate 85 and State 101.
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BMW said the X4, smaller than the X6 and similar in size to the X3, would carry a $45,625 MSRP price tag with its 240 hp 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo engine. For a little more than $3,000 extra, a customer can buy 300 hp with its 3.0 liter inline six turbo engine.
Both include an 8-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles as well as all-wheel drive.
The X4 will be rolled out as a 2015 model.
Workers at BMW’s Upstate plant produced 297,326 vehicles last year, off 1.4 percent from the record 301,519 assembled in 2012. The company attributed the slight decline to the October launch of the third generation of the X5.
The announcement of the X4 launch comes as the company begins one of its busiest years since launching production in 1994 — with the hiring of hundreds of contract workers to staff an expanded plant and mid-lifespan changes to the X3 in addition to the new model rollout.
The factory expansion and additions to the head count will push BMW Manufacturing's production capacity to 350,000 by the end of this year and the head count to about 8,000.
The Greer plant ranks No. 2 in BMW’s manufacturing universe in production behind its Dingolfing plant in Germany.
The local plant exported 210,760 vehicles last year, just more than 70 percent of production, and in line with its export numbers of recent years.