Although not all of BMW’s SUVs are built in South Carolina, the Spartanburg Plant is regarded as the home of the X. The X3 through X7 models are assembled there, and since late last year, the XM has joined them as the first dedicated M model since the days of the mid-engined M1. With this body style continuing to be all the rage among luxury car shoppers, it’s no wonder the SC factory was the highest automotive exporter by value in 2022.
As a matter of fact, it achieved this performance for the ninth consecutive year. Precisely 227,029 SUVs with a combined value of almost $9.6 billion were shipped out of the United States last year. More than 182,000 vehicles were delivered to their rightful owners through the Port of Charleston as well as five other southeastern ports. Over 17,000 units were transported via rail.
If you’re wondering where most vehicles were shipped to, German customers received 15.5% of the export volume, ahead of buyers from China (13.5%), South Korea (12.8%), Canada (7.5%), and the UK (5.6%).
In 2022, BMW made 416,301 SUVs at Plant Spartanburg, achieving the second-best result ever. At 62,200 vehicles, plug-in hybrids accounted for 16.6% of the total production run last year. Almost 60% of cars built there were shipped to approximately 120 countries all over the world. Of all vehicles sold in the United States last year, a little over 60% were manufactured in South Carolina.
To date, BMW has invested almost $12.4 billion at the factory where it’ll spend an additional $1 billion to retool the plant to build at least six electric vehicles based on the Neue Klasse platform by the end of the decade. Another $700 million will go toward a new battery assembly facility in Woodruff, SC.
The factory currently has a maximum annual capacity of 450,000 vehicles and employs over 11,000 people. In 2022, Plant Spartanburg reached an important milestone when the sixth-millionth vehicle, an X6 M in Java Green Metallic, was completed. From April 2023, production of the LCI model unveiled this week will commence at the factory.