To ensure that the recently-launched Z4 was more rigid and substantial than its Z3 predecessor, BMW invested R511 million to enhance body weld operations at its Spartanburg plant in the US.

To ensure that the recently-launched Z4 was more rigid and substantial than its Z3 predecessor, BMW invested R511 million to enhance body weld operations at its Spartanburg plant in the US.
"We clearly wanted to get into the segment of the Porsche Boxsters of this world," Stefan Floeck, a manager for manufacturing engineering at the South Carolina plant, said this week.
As CARtoday.com reported recently, BMW designers made the Z4 bigger and heavier than its much-maligned predecessor and to give the car more rigidity, Floeck's body shop had to increase the number of body weld spots by 15 per cent to a total of 4 300, increase the number of structural seals by 70 per cent, and add 82 robots to the underbody line and 28 robots to the body framing line.
According to , the Z4 upgrade required BMW to rely less on manual assembly work than it did when the Spartanburg plant opened in 1994. Floeck was quoted as saying said the Z4's body assembly was 90 per cent automated, compared with the Z3 line, which was about 25 per cent automated.
Spartanburg's mission has been expanded over the past nine years. The plant also builds the X5 SUV and expects to produce more than 170 000 vehicles this year.

Original article from Car