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BMW retools to build new X5 in Spartanburg, S.C.

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BMW retools to build new X5 in Spartanburg, S.C.

10:06 AM

It's easy to argue that the new BMW X5, coming to showrooms in a few weeks, doesn't look all that different than the old X5.

But you'd never be able to convince the employees of BMW's factory in Spartanburg, S.C. They have been learning how to make the transition to the new model, including 4,000 parts.

At least they were prepared:

The crew has been planning for the new model for 18 months, BMW says. They've been building X5s in the plant since the SUV boom days of 1999.

The new X5 is the the fourth generation. It has new engine choices, a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and innovative driver assistance systems. The look has been tweaked as well. "The new model X5 features exterior design changes including new front and rear bumpers, new front fenders, new headlights and new tail lights," said Bobby Hitt, a department manager at the plant.

Workers learned to make the new X5 the new way even as hey were continuing production the old way. The production changeover occurred over a single weekend, BMW says.



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I thought the current model was the 2nd generation. The 1st gen had an MCE, and I assume the '11 is just an MCE of the 2nd generation.

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