In October 2022, the BMW Group announced plans to spend $1.7 billion to build EVs and batteries in the United States. Of the total investment, $700 million is reserved for a new high-voltage battery assembly plant situated in Woodruff, South Carolina. In June 2023, the automotive conglomerate broke ground at the new site where more than 300 jobs will be created.
Fast forward to October 5, 2023, the BMW Group organized a ceremonial beam signing to mark the start of building construction. The first steel to be erected at the site was signed by the management team as well as by Evans Construction and representatives from the city of Woodruff, Spartanburg County. If everything goes according to plan, the factory will be operational in 2026 when it will begin to assemble sixth-generation batteries featuring round cells.
The battery packs will go into purely electric X models that will be produced nearby at the Spartanburg factory where the BMW Group is investing $1 billion. As a refresher, the company wants to build at least six EVs in the United States by the end of the decade. The Woodroof facility will span more than one million square feet and will include other facilities beyond the battery assembly plant: a technology building, a fire department, an energy center, and a cafeteria.
The future facility will use battery cells manufactured by AESC at its new 30-GWh battery cell factory in Florence County, South Carolina from where they’ll be shipped to Woodruff where the packs will be assembled for use in electric SUVs. AESC broke ground on its own plant this past June when BMW did the same at Woodruff.
Since setting up shop in South Carolina in 1992, BMW has invested almost $12.4 billion. The vehicle factory in Spartanburg makes the X3 through X7 SUVs along with the XM, a plug-in hybrid performance SUV serving as the first dedicated M model since the M1. The car assembly plant has an annual capacity of 450,000 units and ships almost 60% of its output to export markets. In fact, BMW Plant Spartanburg has been the largest automotive exporter by value in the US for a whopping nine years in a row.