• Apr 9th 2010 at 10:39AM
  • 8
American automakers have long struggled to export U.S. made vehicles to overseas markets. BMW, on the other hand, has apparently had no such problem. After 15 years of building cars and SUVs in Spartanburg, South Carolina the company has now shipped over one million cars to overseas markets. That's nearly two-thirds of all of the production from the plant.

When the Spartanburg plant first opened in 1994, it only built 3 series sedans. Within a couple of years, the Z3 roadster was added, followed by the original X5. Ever since the 3 was dropped from the South Carolina production schedule, the plant has been the sole worldwide source for each of the vehicles it has built – a list including the Z3 and first generation Z4. Spartanburg currently builds the X5 and X6. Late this year, an expansion of the plant will bring production of the new second generation X3.

[Source: BMW]
Show full PR text
BMW Manufacturing Announces New Milestone: Exports over One Million Vehicles in first 15 years of South Carolina Plant

* 07.04.2010
* Press Release

Spartanburg, S.C. – April 7, 2010... Since announcing its arrival in South Carolina in 1992, BMW Manufacturing announced today that it has surpassed the export of over one million vehicles, 85% of which have gone through the Port of Charleston. Currently, over 70% of the vehicles produced in Spartanburg are exported to over 120 worldwide markets.

In 2009, BMW commemorated its 15 year anniversary and the production of 1.5 million vehicles. As BMW's only U.S. manufacturing facility, the plant has maintained its commitment to the future of South Carolina by continuing its long-standing partnership with the South Carolina State Ports Authority.

"Our plant continues to be a highly sustainable resource within the BMW Group. The vehicles we produce are driven around the globe and we recognize the vital partnerships we have that enable us to reach our customers everywhere they are. The Port of Charleston continues to efficiently serve our needs to meet ever-changing market demands and they will continue to be a key port for BMW in the future," said Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing.

"We deeply appreciate the strong working relationship we have with BMW," stated Jim Newsome, President & CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority. "Collaborating with BMW to sustain their economic viability for South Carolina is very important to us."

Through 2009, BMW has invested over $4 billion in South Carolina and employs about 5,000 people at the plant. According to the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business, who conducted an economic impact study on the plant in 2008, the factory supports 23,050 jobs and generates $1.2 billion in wages and salaries annually within the state. The plant began production of BMW's first full-hybrid vehicle, the BMW ActiveHybrid X6, in October 2009 and its $750 million expansion to build the next generation BMW X3 is nearly complete.

BMW Manufacturing Co.
BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California. For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I meant... yes ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      This shows that other countries don't refuse to buy American made cars -- like the Union's say -- They just refuse to buy GM, Chrysler for OTHER reasons... Europe and Asia has there own low end Car companies, they don't need the over priced American versions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It also shows that it's nonsense when people claim that foreign companies investing in U.S. production aren't good for the U.S. economy. It's simply not true, and this case makes it particularly obvious. The Asian manufacturers also ship vehicles over from U.S. plants because it's easier to get something across the Atlantic than it is to route your car over some crazy path through Asia to get to Europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When you have a weak currency, exporting home-built stuff becomes easier... just ask the Japanese, they've been intentionally keeping the yen weak for 30 years for that very reason.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's no mystery to me. Beemer builds great cars people want...BAD!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was not aware that the 3-series was ever built in SC.

      Either way, while this is VERY nice to hear, that 1 million number is spread out over 15 years. That averages out to less than 70,000 units per year. Nice number, but only a drop in the bucket in terms of the numbers that the US needs to keep manufacturing alive here, let alone to make the US a net-exporter again.

      I've love to hear how many cars other companies export.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully BMW will increase the U.S.-made content of the car from something I believe currently in the low 30s% to a level more akin to Toyota and Honda in the 60s and 70s% for their U.S. plants.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Did BMW stop production of the Z4 in Spartanburg?