According to a recent report with confirmation by a BMW spokesperson, the automaker will be expanding X5 production to China to satisfy demand within the country. The BMW X5, currently offered in its fourth generation (G05), is primarily produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where BMW’s largest production facility is located. Although the U.S. is among BMW’s leading markets in terms of SAV sales, with the X3 and X5 particularly popular, China, which accounts for a substantial and growing portion of BMW’s global sales, levies a tax on imported vehicles like the X5 with tariffs of up to 40%.
X5 production in China will take place at the BMW Brilliance factory in Shenyang, China, and begin during the second quarter of 2022. The statement provided by BMW says that additional X5 production capacity in China will not affect production volume at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg. During 2018, BMW produced between 10,000 and 20,000 X5 SAVs for the Chinese market at BMW Group Plant Thailand in Rayong, which has been building the X3 since 2003 among various other models including the 3 Series, 5 Series, and 7 Series. BMW’s plant in Thailand has also been producing the X5 since 2020.
As of the end of the third quarter, the BMW Group has sold 669,637 vehicles in China year-to-date, an increase of 19.6% year-over-year. China alone has accounted for 35% of BMW’s sales this year in Europe, Asia, and the Americas combined.
Introduced in 2018 for the 2019 model year, the fourth-generation BMW X5 is approaching its lifecycle impulse (LCI) or mid-production facelift. The specific X5 models to be produced in China are not yet known, but the array of vehicles and models BMW builds specifically for China continues to grow, and could soon include an all-electric version of the 3 Series sedan.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]