BMW’s Upstate South Carolina factory is a valuable asset to the state’s economy with its nearly $6 billion investment and more than 7,000 employees in Spartanburg. According to a study conducted by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, the annual economic impact of BMW’s activities in the state is more than $8.8 billion.
Since BMW Manufacturing Co. opened in 1994, BMW has continued to reinvest in South Carolina, expanding the plant every two to three years. In October 2010, BMW opened a new, flexible assembly second plant at its Spartanburg location increasing its footprint to more than 4 million square feet and making it the company’s third largest production facility in the world. In 2012, BMW announced that it is expanding once again, investing $900 million, adding another vehicle model and increasing capacity to 350,000 units to meet rising global demand.
BMW has produced 2 million vehicles in South Carolina, and six different vehicle models and their variants have rolled off BMW’s assembly lines. Now the plant is the sole global producer and expertise center for BMW’s X models, manufacturing variations of the X6 Sports Activity Coupe, the X5 Sports Activity Vehicle, the second generation X3 Sports Activity Vehicle and the soon-to-be produced X4 for world markets. The plant has steadily increased its exports, and currently seventy percent of the vehicles made in South Carolina are exported, making BMW the largest automotive exporter from the U.S. to non-NAFTA countries. The deepwater Port of Charleston was a major factor in BMW’s selection of South Carolina for its first full manufacturing plant outside of Germany and continues to feature in its success.
Read more about BMW and the South Carolina Automotive Industry.