This week marks the 25th anniversary of BMW’s announcement that it was coming to South Carolina and to properly celebrate this milestone the Bavarians will unveil the third-generation X3 at the plant, on Monday, June 26th. BMW Chairman Harald Krueger will open the festivities and talk about the brand’s success in the US.
Prior to BMW’s arrival to Spartanburg, the textile industry has dried up and removed nearly 25,000 jobs, leaving a huge void in the county.
“In the mid- to late ’80s, we lost 25,000 jobs in Spartanburg, just with the demise of the textile industry,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt. “We were in a world of hurt. We had nothing. When it went away, it was just a tremendous devastation.” But BMW’s plant helped to turn this around. “BMW saved Spartanburg County,” he said. “It set us up to be an industrial Mecca.”
Initially BMW committed to a $300 million investment with 2,000 jobs, and 9 suppliers, but it has only grown from there. Fast forward 25 yeas later, BMW and it suppliers created 45,000 jobs and brought in $16 billion in investments.
But it isn’t just the impact that BMW has made on the state of South Carolina that makes the Spartanburg plant so important, it also helps the country. BMW exported about $10.5 billion in 2016, which helps America, not just South Carolina. More than 70 percent of BMW’s U.S. production is exported to over 140 different markets.