BMW reaches 95th birthday with new models, more U.S. production

James Raia

For nearly 95 years, BMW has been synonymous with luxury, value and performance automobiles.

With MINI and Rolls Royce Motor Cars also under the BMW Group umbrella, the manufacturer founded in 1916 as Bayerische Flugzeug- Werke (BFW), has vast and diverse offerings across its three-brand canvas.

BMW car prices range between $30,025 for the entry level 1 series to $103,225 for the top-of-the-line M6 model.

Beginning with its first brief tenure as a small company building military aircraft engines, BMW experienced rapid growth throughout its history. In recent years, BMW's commitment to "sheer driving pleasure"  as a top priority throughout its lineup, has dramatically increased the popularity of the carmaker headquartered in Munich, Germany.

In fact, from the year 2000 to nearing the end of the decade, BMW global sales grew nearly 50 percent. The reason: BMW is constantly trying to make its cars more intelligent, more dynamic and more efficient while maintaining the belief that a BMW car price may be considered expensive, it's also considered a good value.

In addition to other global locations, BMW is expanding its U.S. manufacturing location in Greer, S.C. The $750 million expansion and renovation of the facility was recently completely and is expected to be running at near capacity in 2011.

The timing is ideal for the since BMW expects to soon be in full production of the recently debuted next generation of its X3 sports activity vehicle.

The redesigned vehicle has been launched in Europe and it made its recent North American debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. It will be available in U.S. car showrooms in January 2011.

For U.S. customers, increased manufacturing capabilities have occurred at just the right time. Without having to rely on international manufacturing facilities, the time frame for delivery of customized vehicles has been dramatically shortened.

BMW is promoting the new X3 with a "Dream it. Build it. Drive it." campaign. It allows any customer in the Southeast to go through the purchase and delivery process in about a week.

Two versions of the vehicle are being offered – a 28i and a 35i. This model, unlike any other BMW car price,  starts at just under $40,000, But well equipped the price of X6M can surpass more than $100,000.

Both have six-cylinder engines, but the 35i uses a twin turbo-charged engine. Both are fuel-efficient when compared against direct completion. The X5 series is also doing well, particularly with an increased interest in the diesel fuel option among U.S. customers.

BMW also showcased its 6 Series concept coupe at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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