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BMW Announces $900-Million Expansion in South Carolina

BMW has announced the company will expand its plant in Spartanburg County, SC. The $900-million investment is expected to generate 300 new jobs. BMW also commemorated a production milestone today: 2,000,000 vehicles since the company began U.S. production in 1994.

Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW Group Board Member responsible for Production, announced the company’s intention to expand its X-model family. He said that production of the new BMW X4 will occur at the Spartanburg plant, spurring significant investment and job creation necessary to prepare the facility for the new model.

“I am delighted to announce today, over the next three years, we plan to invest nearly $900 million. With this investment, we will be able to produce 350,000 units here in the mid-term,” said Arndt. “This is one reaction to the rising global demand for our BMW X Models.”

With the addition of 300 new jobs, this year the plant will raise production capacities up to 300,000 units. By the end of the year, the plant will employ nearly 7,500 people at its more than 4 million-square-foot facility.

“BMW has once again provided tremendous evidence that South Carolina is a blueprint for significant economic development success. The partnership between this company and our state is an enduring example of how to attract, retain and grow business to stimulate perpetual job creation,” said Gov. Nikki Haley

Since the original decision to build BMW’s only U.S. plant in South Carolina in 1992, today’s announcement brings BMW Group’s total investment in the state to nearly $6 billion and represents its largest, single investment to date in its South Carolina plant.

“Two million vehicles have prepared our team well to meet the new opportunities that lie ahead for our plant. We look forward to a new model with great anticipation. For nearly 20 years, this team has always proven their steadfast commitment to producing quality vehicles for our customers around the world,” remarked Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing.

In 2011, the plant produced 276,065 vehicles for over 130 markets around the world representing a 73 percent increase from 2010. Seventy percent of the vehicles produced (192,813) were exported, making BMW the largest automotive exporter to the non-NAFTA countries. Sales of the vehicles produced at the plant have met with continued high demand. According to Arndt, throughout the world, more than 117,000 X3’s were sold in 2011 representing a 156 percent growth of this vehicle versus its predecessor.

“I am thrilled to celebrate the 2 millionth BMW today,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce for South Carolina. “BMW’s impact on South Carolina’s economy and overall competitiveness is always worth celebrating. This new economic investment and commitment of jobs is a testament to South Carolina’s strong automotive manufacturing industry.”

In the past year, South Carolina has recruited more than $2.3 billion in investment and more than 4,000 new jobs in the automotive-related sector.

Since 1994, the plant has undergone four major expansions and produced six different BMW models and their variants (318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6, X3). Employment has grown from 500 in 1994 to more than 7,000 today.

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