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This Monday, BMW will announce plans to expand its sole U.S. assembly plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This is more great news for Spartanburg, as BMW has increased production at the plant three times previously, and the facility is already running over capacity. Its stated capacity is 140,000 vehicles per year, but workers there cranked out 154,999 vehicles in 2007. BMW will reportedly expand its facilities in Spartanburg by 70,000 square feet, at a cost estimated at $27 million. This will bring the German automaker's total investment in Spartanburg to $4.83 billion since it opened in 1994. Clearly BMW has been a significant boost to the regional economy.

The German automaker is currently manufacturing the X5 SAV, Z4 Roadster and M Coupes, and the upcoming X6 SAV at the plant. In 2010, it plans to send the Z4 assembly to Germany, but bring all X3 SAV production to the States (some X3 production is currently done under contract assembly by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria).

[Source: Automotive News Europe, subs. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice to see the weak dollar do some good. I suspect the other Euoropean makers will have to expand US manufacturing as well. Too bad the Japanese are insulated by their currency manipulation.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The EADS deal is also a joint deal with Northrup - a US based company.
        Notice all these new opportunities are going to the south...and not the anti-business climate of Michigan and Ohio. Maybe those states should look to become more like Alabama, TX, and SC and worry less about making NAFTA a scapegoat.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For a second there I thought it read plant explosion....


      In any case, I'd think this expansion would allow the price of BMWs I think sell well to remain relatively constant oppose to the ever dropping dollar which would lead to increasing costs for these automobiles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      @3seriesisking, not sure what you are up on the tire about? The OP mentioned the Carolinas as where American motorsports were "born" and that's incorrect. Check out "Ford: The Dust And The Glory," "The Miller Dynasty," or "The Golden Age of the American Racing Car" for details.

      As for the Research Triangle in NC, yes I am familiar with it as I travel there several times a year, but as you say, it has little to do with the automotive industry.

      Down in South Carolina, the area around the BMW and Michelin plants is growing into a nice center of excellence, with IBM and Clemson U getting involved in developing the infrastructure as well, but it's a tiny fraction of what you would find in Michigan. And, aside from the motorsports program at Clemson, there isn't a huge link to the mainstream of America's racing industry.

      So what's the issue again? I'm not slamming the Carolinas, just setting the record straight on where American motorsports was "born".
        • 7 Years Ago
        nice post george, I don't know how so many viewers seemed to have misunderstood it (demonstrating so by giving high rankings to 3seriesisking's post -- his post by the way made no sense as a response to what you wrote)
        • 7 Years Ago
        And where would we be without the pioneers of World War 1 era racing? Seriously friend, I'm not trying to nit pick, deny Southern California's rich automotive history, or steal Detroit's pioneering foresight, but from what I see the only sanctioned racing putting enough "butts in the seats" to have any sort of grand scale economic impact is NASCAR. 150,000 people in Las Vegas last weekend! That's twisted. I'm not saying I love NASCAR (I don't), but you have to appreciate the fact that every form of racing that takes place on American soil pales in comparison in attendance. I enjoy ALMS, love what the SCCA guys are doing, and tingle every time I hear an F1 engine or NHRA dragster, but whether we like it or not the country we live in loves its beer, NASCAR, and NFL football. And NASCAR was born on the back roads of the Carolinas. So to please you and cover all technicalities, we would be nowhere without the early hot-rodders in California, Henry Ford, or maybe the horses that lead to cars being developed in the first place.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Paraphrasing a political slogan, "its the dollar stupid"

      At $1.50/Euro you have to build here to save your margins
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nothing better for the local economy and the economy as a whole when a manufacturer expands and adds the possiblity of more jobs! Great news Spartanburg!!! Guess that's better than a $600 check. But hey, that $600 is a good start towards a downpayment on an American assembled BMW!!!! Congrats SC!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great for South Carolina...Spartanburg and the Upstate region...perhaps news will be even better if VW/Audi decides to locate in the Anderson area which is not very far west of Greenville/Spartanburg....much is already in place to support such an excellnt location choice.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Congrats SC.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Perhaps whent they move the 3-series production to Spartanburg, it will be easier for BMW to bring more affordable lease offers in this car series.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's a lot of talented individuals here in the Carolinas. American motor sports were born and headquartered here for a reason. Almost every God fearing southern man, love him or hate him, knows his way around air tools and a shop. And more of us than you think aren't scared of electronics and technology.

        • 7 Years Ago
        @George.....Have you ever heard of the Research Triangle??? It has nothing to do with motorsport heritage. It has to do with the quality of high-end research centers in the area that make Spartanburg, which also happens to be in a good location economically a good idea. Take your ignorant views on automotive manufacturing centers somewhere else.
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