Nobody's Trying To Destroy BMW's American Operations, Except Possibly BMW

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

When the fire department assigned to BMW’s plant in South Carolina spotted a 55-gallon drum behind a vehicle in Lot D, they did what everybody does nowadays: they assumed it was a “chloride granulated bomb”. The area was cleared and BMW temporarily suspended production of the X3, X4, X5, and X6, an action that was immediately applauded by Roundel magazine, the BMWCCA E30 M3 Special Interest Group, and possibly Satch Carlson.

Turns out that the drum contained water-filtration chemicals.


BMW has in the process of resuming full production, which will come as a great relief to everyone who’s been waiting for their X4 to be completed.

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  • Marmot Marmot on May 24, 2014

    I wonder if Satch is still with his student.

    • See 1 previous
    • Photog02 Photog02 on May 24, 2014

      It is exactly for that reason that I refuse to read his column in Hemming's S&E, and skip over anything he contributes to Roundel (not that I am going to be renewing my membership in the CCA anyway- after 15 years that club left me far behind).

  • Yurpean Yurpean on May 24, 2014

    Dude, where are the VWAG NA MK7 Golf&GTI reviews you promised us?

  • GeneralMalaise GeneralMalaise on May 24, 2014

    It's that bunker mentality...

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on May 25, 2014

    It makes perfect sense to make the trucks here. It saves a lot of transportation costs. In Germany, the big gas engined cars we think of as "german cars" are rare. Many more of the same body style but with much smaller engines, and oft diesel. (The diesels we get here are the top ones there). I saw in two weeks of Southern Germany two Q7, six X5, and zero big mercedes trucks. I saw lots of 116d, a some great Opel Wagons (not all diesel), and a lot of Golf sized cars...a C class is big, an E huge, and a truck just won't fit a lot of places. Even if the gas was free, you couldn't get an Escalade through some city centers. If you afford to feed it at 10 dollars per gallon....

    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on May 26, 2014

      Transportation costs are largely irrelevant - it costs very little to put 10,000 cars on a boat. The trucks are made here because historically they were mostly sold here. This insulates BMW from currency exchange risks. The fact that labor is a bit cheaper here is a nice bonus too. In Germany, most German cars are not luxury cars. They are just "cars". Ultimately a 520i is not that much different than a mid-size Buick, and fills a similar market niche. The taxi that took me from the Munich airport to BMW Welt was a late model short-wheelbase S-Class with a small diesel. It was nothing special, just the next taxi in the taxi queue at the airport. The US arms of BMW and MB in particular have worked very hard to give the cars here a different image than they have in much of the rest of the world. I don't think my 3-series is some sort of luxury car, it's just a nicely made car that is terrific to drive. And I would have been perfectly happy with a smaller engine or a diesel.