• Jan 14, 2011
Automotive News Europe is reporting that BMW may be looking into expanding the number of models that the company manufactures here in the States. While the German automaker says that there are no solid plans on the table right now, it's possible that both the 3 Series and the 5 Series could join the X3, X5 and X6 on the production line at the BMW facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina (shown above). The move is being considered as the U.S. threatens to overtake Germany as the company's largest auto market. In 2010, the U.S. fell a mere 252 vehicles shy of taking the sales crown from Germany.

BMW currently holds a 2.3-percent market share in the U.S. with 266,000 vehicles sold in America in 2010. With the U.S. economy in a slow but steady state of improvement, the company fully expects to eclipse that number in 2011. As a result, the Spartanburg facility will operate at its full capacity of 240,000 units this year.

So far, it's unclear as to whether the company would eye building a new facility for the American-built 3 and 5 Series vehicles or if BMW would simply add on to its South Carolina plant.

[Source: Automotive News Europe – sub. req.]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      John, I was just going to say that! All the cheap execs who think of building cars here to cut cost will owe the UAW their companies life.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They better make sure there union proof.
        • 3 Years Ago
        BMW has extensive experience dealing with unions. All German manufacturers do. Germany is one of the most heavily unionized countries in the world (approximately 19% of the workforce). I am sure that BMW will be fine in SC. Besides, I don't think that there is a lot of incentive to unionize. BMW is one of the best manufacturers for laborers to work for - automotive or otherwise.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Go get 'em UAW! BMW are Human Rights Violators!!!! /s

      Hey more jobs in America I'm all for it BMW do it! Would be great PR to if done properly.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Spartanburg plant started out building 3 series cars so it can be done without much difficulty, though capacity is an issue. With all the suppliers being in place in that area one wouldn't think they would wonder too far afield for a new plant.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Z3 actually started up a few months later. The first time I visited the plant the first 6 of them were sitting under tarps in the body shop. The first cars were 318's and 328's. I was a supplier rep there the first 6 months the plant was open. It made the Z3 and 3 series cars until the crossover came along.

        The plant is very flexible. It was designed to be able to build any car BMW sold at the time it was built. They use a lot of manual labor for things that are automated in other companies plants just so that they have that flexibility.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I didn't realize that Germany was the biggest seller in the USA I would have thought the US had that wrapped up, surely Japan is one of the big players too.
      http://www.e46tuning.com/
      • 3 Years Ago
      That would be great and all, as long as they DON'T do what VW has done and make a "special" USDM-only 3-series.
      • 3 Years Ago
      please NO!! I know some BMWs are built in SC. But I'd really like my German cars to be built in the land of people who really care about German build precision and quality. (no offense SC workers...)
        • 3 Years Ago
        Keep in mind many 3-series sedans sold in the U.S. are built at BMW's Rosslyn, South Africa...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Considering that the quality of the cars built in SC has been rated much better than some other BMW plants this could be a very wise move.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Um... Unions? Do you think that there are no unions in Germany? American unions are a joke in comparison.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Doubt they'll make any headway. SC has the third-least percent of workers in a union. And Greenville and Spartanburg counties have usually been in the bottom in the state. I assure, there's a real anti-union sentiment here that'd be really hard to overcome.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wait until the UAW gets their way...
      • 3 Years Ago
      If anything, this is a serious threat to European Delivery. If everything is built here to US spec (and therefore not in Europe), it doesn't leave much left. The 1, X1, 6, and 7.





        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, you cannot ED an X5. Just depends if the US variants are still built in Germany. I'm quite sure you won't find a South African built 3er for ED. if all US product comes from SA and here, you can probably wipe the 3er off the list.

        And picking up a car here will never match going to the mother land.
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you buy a new X3 in the US, can you get the European delivery option? I always thought if I bought a new European car, I'd do European delivery. It would be a shame if the 3 and 5 series lost that option, as they are cars I would likely buy if I wanted a luxury sedan.
        • 3 Years Ago
        There is no chance that they would stop building those cars in Europe... chances are the ones built here would be the ones meant for the USDM to begin with.
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