BMW Plant Spartanburg is once again the top U.S. auto exporter continuing its lead from 2014.
In 2014, the export of passenger vehicles built in the plant and shipped through the Port of Charleston totaled $9,200,000,000, a 13 percent jump over 2013. The factory produced 364,000 vehicles in 2014 and more than 260,000 were exported out of the US. The plant produces the BMW X3, X4, X5, X5 M, X6, and X6 , and the X7 in 2018.The Spartanburg Plant also makes BMWs here that are not available in the US, such as the X6M50d. The X SUVs are shipped to 140 countries.
“Claiming the top spot for U.S. automobile exports rounds out a very successful year for BMW in South Carolina. With more than 364,000 units, 2014 was also a record production year for the plant,” said Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “Our company’s significant contribution to the U.S. balance of trade strengthens our position as the leading manufacturer of premium vehicles for the world.”
Last year, BMW announced a $1B plant expansion to accommodate future models. The extra production capacity will allow them to increase annual production from 300,000 to 450,000 at Spartanburg. This is a 50% production capacity increase on only an additional 10% to the work force.
The Greer Inland Port also provides the capability to ship BMWs by rail overnight to the Port of Charleston, 212 miles away, an extremely efficient process which allows to put the car in hands of customers faster than ever.
“BMW vehicles, world renowned for their brand and quality, continue to be a major contributor to the South Carolina Ports Authority’s overall success,” said Jim Newsome, President and CEO, South Carolina Ports Authority. He added, “We are proud to handle both finished vehicles and parts for BMW, whose presence in South Carolina endorses the capabilities of our ports and logistics infrastructure.”
BMW has also built a $13,400,000, 414,534-square-foot warehouse adjacent to the Greer Inland Port to be used for staging vehicle assembly kits for export. These parts and components are packaged in Spartanburg and then exported to countries where local manufacturers can assemble them. BMW currently operates such automobile plants in Thailand, Malaysia, Russia, Egypt, Indonesia, and India, plus a motorcycle assembly factory in Brazil.
The BMW Spartanburg Plant has two paint shops with over 100 robots and an integrated paint process producing 40% fewer emissions all the while using 30% less energy. The plant has more than 1,400 robots that have “Best-Fit” technology which are accurate within tenths of a millimeter. The Spartanburg plant also has a fully automated engine marriage process.
Highlighting BMW’s sustainability, the Spartanburg plant has the world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell fleet for a single site. Further a whopping 50% of the BMW plant’s energy needs are from methane gas produced from the near by Palmetto Landfill.
[Source: BMW CCA]