BMW announced the company will expand its plant in Spartanburg County with a $1 billion investment, which is expected to create 800 new jobs. The expansion includes the addition of a fifth vehicle platform at the plant - the X7 - and it will increase production capacity from 350,000 units to 450,000 units annually, making the Spartanburg facility the highest-capacity plant in the BMW global system by the end of 2016.
Dr. Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW AG, and other BMW executives joined with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Governor Nikki Haley in making the announcement in Greer. Additionally, BMW revealed for the first time the new X4, the latest vehicle model produced in Spartanburg. The addition of the X4 was announced as part of a $900 million expansion in January 2012.
Since the original decision to build BMW's only U.S. plant in South Carolina in 1992, BMW's investment in South Carolina has totaled $6.3 billion. Today's announcement represents its largest, single investment to date in its South Carolina presence and the fifth major expansion of the plant.
Since 1994, the plant has produced seven different BMW models and their variants (318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6, X3 and X4). Employment has grown significantly from 500 in 1994 to an expected 8,000 by the end of this year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of BMW's start of production in South Carolina in 1994.
BMW's Spartanburg facility produced 297,326 vehicles in 2013 for 140 global markets. More than 70 percent of the vehicles produced (210,670 units) were exported, with the automaker being the Port of Charleston's top user by cargo value as well as a major customer of the new South Carolina Inland Port in Greer.
South Carolina's automotive industry has quadrupled in the past two decades, according to South Carolina Department of Commerce data. The sector employs approximately 46,700 South Carolinians at more than 250 firms. Automotive-related companies are presently in 38 of the state's 46 counties.
"Governor Haley, the government of South Carolina welcomed us here 20 years ago. Today, I want to thank you for your continued efforts in promoting this partnership as many former governors before you have done. Your personal commitment to the plant has truly been appreciated." - Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG
"BMW's decision to locate in South Carolina was a game-changer 20 years ago, and today's commitment of another $1 billion investment and 800 jobs in Spartanburg County is another game-changing moment. This is a real testament to our strong business environment and skilled workforce and we couldn't be more excited to see BMW continuing to grow and invest in our state for many years to come." -Gov. Nikki Haley
"BMW's presence in South Carolina over the past two decades has driven the dramatic growth of our automotive sector, which now includes 250 companies in 38 out of the state's 46 counties. It is great to see BMW's ongoing success in our state as they become the largest plant in BMW's global system." -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
"The SC Ports Authority has a strong history with BMW, and their operations are a tremendous asset to our port. They are the largest user of our premier roll-on/roll-off facility at Columbus Street, and their cargo commitment was a significant factor in our decision to open the Inland Port last year. We proudly call them our partner and will continue to support their growing import-export needs through our Charleston and Greer facilities." -Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority
"Spartanburg County has a diverse family of domestic and international companies that continue to expand. BMW continues to deliver a superb automobile made by associates that are excited to go to work every day. We are blessed to have BMW and their suppliers located in Spartanburg. I don't want to appear greedy, but nothing would please me more than to have all BMWs produced in Spartanburg." -Jeff Horton, Chairman of Spartanburg County Council
FIVE FAST FACTS
- The automaker's $1 billion investment is expected to create 800 new jobs.
- This will be BMW's fifth major expansion of the Spartanburg facility since 1992.
- The expansion adds a fifth vehicle platform - the X7 - to a facility already producing the X3, X4, X5 and X6 models.
- BMW's total investment in the state to date is already $6.3 billion.
- South Carolina's automotive sector has quadrupled in the past two decades and currently has a presence in 38 of the state's 46 counties.
About BMW Manufacturing Co.
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X4 and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California. For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.
About the South Carolina Department of Commerce
As South Carolina's leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. and also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and community development. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. South Carolina ranked first in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign investment, according to IBM-Plant Location International reports in both 2012 and 2013. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.