The BMW Group is investing US$1 billion to expand capacity at its US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina to meet demand for X models.
The company plans to make the investment by 2016 and annual production capacity by 50 per cent from 300,000 currently to 450,000 vehicles. This is according to BMW AG chairman of the board of management Norbert Reithofer at a ceremony in Spartanburg today to commemorate 20 years of BMW production in the US.
Spartanburg is BMW’s centre of competence for X vehicles. BMW X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M models have been manufactured so far at the plant.
Today’s event also marked the start of production of the BMW X4. Reithofer also took the opportunity to announce a further expansion of the X model family.
“With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our US plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the US,” he said.
BMW board of management member for production Harald Krüger added: “The Spartanburg plant is an important building block in our international network of 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries today. It makes a vital contribution to profitable, globally-balanced growth.”
Krüger added: “The BMW plant in Spartanburg is the best example of our successful strategy of ‘production follows the market’. The state of South Carolina has supported us as a valuable and reliable partner throughout our 20-year involvement in the region and played a decisive part in making the US our second home.”
The plant’s expansion will add 800 new jobs, bringing the total at Spartanburg to 8,800. This will make Spartanburg the largest plant in production capacity in BMW’s global production network.
According to the US Department of Commerce, Spartanburg’s annual export volume totals US$7.5 billion, making the facility the US’s largest vehicle exporter, based on total exports, excluding NAFTA. Some 70 per cent of Spartanburg’s production is exported.
Since start of production in 1994, Spartanburg has built over 2.6 million vehicles. In the near future, production will begin of a plug-in hybrid BMW X5.
Last year, Spartanburg produced a total of 297,326 vehicles and currently daily production is running at around 1,100 vehicles. ∎
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