Celebrating 20 years of production in the USA, Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW Group, announced plans to invest US$ 1 billion in the company’s South Carolina plant: “We will expand the plant’s annual production capacity by 50% up to 450,000 vehicles by the end of 2016. Today’s capacity is around 300,000 vehicles. This investment will also create an additional 800 jobs, increasing the total workforce to 8,800 on site.”
At the event held at the plant, Dr. Reithofer was joined by U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker; South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley; BMW Group Board member for Production, Harald Krüger; and President of BMW Manufacturing, Plant Spartanburg, Manfred Erlacher.
Norbert Reithofer: “We are expanding BMW Plant Spartanburg as our center of competence for production of BMW X models and broadening our product portfolio. This expansion means Spartanburg will have the largest production capacity of any plant in our global production network. This plant already exports, on average, 70% of its annual production with a 2013 value of more than US$ 7.5 billion which, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, makes BMW the largest U.S. vehicle exporter to non-NAFTA countries.”
Since production began 20 years ago, in 1994, the Spartanburg plant has produced over 2.6 million vehicles for BMW customers around the world. Currently the BMW X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M are all produced at the plant. The event also celebrated the start of production of the all-new BMW X4. In the near future, a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW X5 will also be produced here.
“This is the fifth expansion since production began 20 years ago and represents another major investment,” said Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing.
In 2013, a total of 297,326 vehicles were manufactured in Spartanburg, with 1,100 vehicles currently produced per working day. Total employment at the site reached 8,000 in March 2014.