Eco-Friendly BMW X3 Assembly Line Gets Spotlight
'Ultimate Factories' Series Offers Inside Look at Innovative South Carolina Plant
HARTFORD, CONN. (11/07/2011)(readMedia)-- The National Geographic Channel recently gave driving enthusiasts an inside look at the production of a new 2012 BMW X3 crossover with its "Ultimate Factories" television series. The episode, which aired on November 1, was filmed in BMW's cutting-edge Spartanburg, South Carolina plant and follows the path X3 models take before they are delivered to BMW dealerships.
BMW's South Carolina plant produces all three of the automaker's crossover vehicles, including the X5, X6 and X3, which went into production in September 2010. The episode displayed the intricacies of the Bavarian automaker's assembly line, revealing the care and detail that goes into each vehicle. Known for its high-tech manufacturing technology, BMW now uses hydrogen fuel cells to power the material-handling vehicles that are involved in the production of the X3 at its Spartanburg factory.
"Just as BMW is often the first to come to market with new vehicle technology, they are equally as innovative in developing efficient and eco-friendly means of producing those vehicles," said Tim Parker, general manager of Hartford, Connecticut BMW dealer New Country BMW. "The use of hydrogen fuel cells in production of the BMW X3 is going to cut down on 1.8 million kilowatt hours per year in electricity consumption, while at the same time offering longer battery life than lead-acid batteries."
The fuel cells take hydrogen and convert it to electrical energy using only heat and water as byproducts, meaning that BMW's cell-powered forklifts, tuggers and stackers will have little environmental impact. As one of the largest hydrogen fuel cell fleets in the United States, the initiative supplements the automaker's creation of a landfill-gas-to-energy facility in 2003. That facility currently powers about 50 percent of the South Carolina assembly plant by capturing methane from a local landfill and converting it to renewable energy.
While BMW's South Carolina plant offers a unique glimpse at the company's future, some car buyers may be interested in experiencing BMW vehicles in the automaker's home country. For that, the luxury automaker offers its European Delivery Program, which allows American buyers to pick up their new BMW in Munich, Germany at a discounted price that helps cover costs of the trip. After a customer chooses from a wide range of vehicles and options at an authorized U.S. BMW dealership, they can pick up their new ride at the BMW Welt center in Munich, Germany, a futuristic facility featuring a factory and museum with historic BMW vehicles and displays.
After their visit to the BMW Welt, the car buyer can drive straight to a drop-off point and have the car shipped to America, or they can take the vehicle on a European vacation. BMW offers five Driving Adventures based on different lifestyles, ranging from "Lakeside Luxury" to "Castles and Mozart." Once the trip is over, customers drop off the car at one of 12 locations throughout Europe, where it will then be shipped to their U.S. BMW dealer of choice. There are drop-off locations in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.
"Seeing the X3 factory on television is cool, but nothing can match touring BMW facilities first-hand in Germany," Parker noted. "BMW's European Delivery Program allows Connecticut BMW fans to order their vehicle here and pick it up in Munich, which means additional savings and a great chance to take a completely unique European vacation."
About New Country BMW:
Hartford BMW drivers trust New Country BMW when they need to service their high-performance models, but New Country offers much more than just outstanding BMW service. When it comes to buying a new or certified pre-owned BMW, Connecticut BMW drivers can rely on New Country BMW for a stress-free buying experience that extends beyond the sale. Part of the New Country Motor Car Group, New Country BMW is located at One Weston Park Road in Hartford, Conn. They can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NewCountryBMW or reached by phone at 866-498-7471, and their extensive online inventory can be found at www.newcountrybmw.com.