BMW has announced that it will expand the only manufacturing plant is has in the United States. The company will invest $1 billion to increase capacity by 50 percent, add 800 jobs and produce a larger SUV, according to a report from WLTX.
The plant, located in Greer, “was built to enhance and expand the BMW lineup, underscoring the BMW Group commitment to the United States,” said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the Board of Management, BMW Group. “In addition to the X3, X5, X6, and the new X4, we are today announcing another all-new, larger X model to be manufactured exclusively at this plant for our world markets: the X7.”
“We will expand the plant’s annual production capacity by 50 percent up to 450,000 vehicles by the end of 2016,” Reithofer said.
The plant is 20-years-old and has capacity for 300,000 vehicles right now. When the expansion is complete, the plant will have the largest production capacity of any plant in the BMW network.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Governor Nikki Haley were in attendance during the announcement. Also in attendance were BMW production head Harald Krüger and the president of BMW Manufacturing CO. Manfred Erlacher.
The announcement by BMW adds to an already-impressive list of economic developments for South Carolina.
In North Charleston, Boeing Co. manufactures 787 jetliners. In Greenville, Michelin North America announced that it would expand throughout the state.
When BMW starting operated in Greer in 1994, it employed 1,900 people and had an initial capital investment of $444 million.
Mark Vitner, a Wells Fargo senior economist, said that it is “really hard to imagine where we would be without BMW and the emergence of the automotive industry in the Upstate. Not only has it replaced a large portion of the jobs and income lost by the textile industry that dominated the region two decades ago, but BMW has helped encourage a wave of investment in higher-paying manufacturing jobs in the Upstate and other areas.”
The X7 will be added to the production line at the Greer plant.
“The BMW Group strives for a good balance of growth among all markets and continents,” Krüger said. “The local plant is an important building block in our international network of 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries today and makes a vital contribution to profitable, globally-balanced growth.”
Krüger went on to say, “Our U.S. plant is the best example of our successful strategy of ‘production follows the market’. The state of South Carolina has supported us as a valuable and reliable partner throughout our 20-year involvement in the region – making the United States our second home.”
Do you want to work for BMW? Click here to browse all available openings.BMW to Expand Plant in South Carolina and Add 800 Jobs by Jim Vassallo