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End Of BMW Z4 Signals Job Cuts In South Carolina

Posted in BMW, Newsworthy by Geoff | September 17th, 2008 | 1 Response |

2008 Z4 Roadster
2008 Z4 Roadster

Adding further to the misery of the American workforce, it appears that the end of the current production BMW Z4 is also going to mean the beginning of job cuts in the South Carolina plant that produces it. Even after BMW announced in March that it was proceeding with a $750 million expansion and production increase from 165,000 to 240,000 vehicles by 2012, the Greenville News reported today that BMW will make cuts to the 5,900 workforce at its Spartanburg County plant.  As many as 700 people had worked on the Z4, though BMW is tighlipped about exactly how many will be let go following this announcement. The plant also produces the X5 sports activity vehicle and the X6 sports activity coupe. Though not any immediate consolation for those that may lose their jobs, it is hoped that those job loses will be offset if BMW keeps to their plan to add production of a diesel X5 before year’s end and a hybrid X6 next year.  Also on a positive note, the company expects to shift production of the X3, a smaller version of the X5, to America from Austria in 2010.
In more cheery related news, the slightly larger replacement of the Z4 has been spotted during testing in Germany, including at the famed Nürburgring.  Even in camoflauge, the new car appears to be a mere freshening up (or toned down to some) of the long-hooded short-decked sports car.  In addition to the standard convertible there are rumors of new twin turbocharged and hardtop convertible versions in the pipline as well.  At the very least, BMW’s new six-cylinder engines are sure to find their way under the hood to produce roughly the same horsepower as previous models.  Reportedly, the BMW Z4 will have three different choices of engines for 2009, a 2.0-liter direct-injection engine with an output of 185 hp, a direct-injection 2.5-liter Inline-6 engine that produces 231 hp and a Turbocharged 3.0-liter direct-injection engine that is rated at 321 hp.  Additionally, an even more powerful high-revving normally aspirated 4.0-liter V8 engine that cranks out 450 hp and is electronically limited to 155 mph may be forthcoming as well.  With this engine, the Z4 replacement is supposedly capable of 0 to 60 mph times of less than 6 seconds.

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