With BMW’s push to increase carbon fiber production and production of the X7 at the Spartanburg, SC facility, they must be planning on making a lot of cars, right? Turns out, BMW is already the largest US exporter of cars.
BMW X6 Passenger Interior
Business for BMW is booming. The auto group sold more than 1,000,000 vehicles in the first half of 2014 alone, an increase of almost 7% over the first six months of 2013.
“June is the latest in a long line of record months and the figures confirm we’re on the right track to achieve our target of delivering more than 2 million vehicles in 2014,” stated Ian Robertson of the BMW AG Board of Management, Sales and Marketing BMW. “We aim to continue our sales growth in the second half of the year, when exciting new vehicles like the BMW X4 and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will come onto the market.”
BMW opened the South Carolina plant 20 years ago in 1994. Though the company is based in Munich, the choice to build the plant in the US came from increasing energy costs and labor rules in Germany. The plant was built to provide more direct links between the departments of the assembly plant so the production halls, body shop, paint shop and other sections could work more efficiently together.
Spartanburg was chosen as a production hub thanks in part to its location near Interstate 85 and a nearby airport for cargo deliveries. The town’s proximity to the Charleston seaport, crucial for engine delivery as well as the beginning of the export process.
Rising costs in Germany (German auto workers costing the company 47% more than American workers) made the choice to expand the Spartanburg plant an easy one. BMW plans on investing
In 1994, BMW hoped to produce 50,000 cars a year. Now, after continued and upcoming investment for a grand total of $7.3 billion, BMW is looking to produce as many as 450,000 vehicles per year and provide 8,800 jobs. Currently, 70% of the cars manufactured in Spartanburg are exported to over 140 countries.
The plant builds almost all of BMW’s SUV (sport utility vehicles) including models X3, X4, X5, X6 and the new flagship model X7.