For the seventh consecutive year, BMW Manufacturing was the largest U.S. automotive exporter by value, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. BMW Manufacturing exported 218,820 Sports Activity Vehicles and Coupes during 2020 with an export value of more than $8.9 billion. The BMWs produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina, were exported through the Port of Charleston, SC (more than 189,000 units), and through five other southeastern ports: Savannah, GA; Brunswick, GA; Jacksonville, FL; Miami, FL; and Everglades, FL. More than 13,000 BMWs were also exported via rail. The top five export countries from BMW Manufacturing were China (23.3% of export volume), Germany (12.9%), South Korea (7.8%), Canada (6%), and Russia (5.3%).
“Claiming the top spot once again for U.S. automotive exports is a direct result of the commitment and dedication of the Plant Spartanburg team during the challenging 2020 production year,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “BMW is proud to contribute to the U.S. balance of trade as we continue to be the leading manufacturer of premium vehicles for the world.”
The achievement is even more impressive considering the impact of COVID-19. Plant Spartanburg experienced a production interruption in Spring 2020. After a five-week non-production period, associates returned for one shift on May 4. In the second half of the year, Plant Spartanburg built nearly 218,000 BMWs, a record for any six-month period in the factory’s history. All totaled, the plant produced 361,365 vehicles for the entire year 2020.
Electrification is also part of the BMW Spartanburg plant. There were 47,212 electrified BMWs produced in South Carolina last year, up 13 percent compared to 2019. The BMW X3 xDrive30e (22,964 units) and the BMW X5 xDrive45e (24,248 units) lead the plug-in hybrid pack.
BMW Manufacturing currently produces about 1,500 vehicles each day, exporting more than two-thirds of its models to 125 global markets. The factory has a production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.