BMW announces plant expansion
The three-year construction project includes a new 1.2 million square foot assembly facility north of the existing factory, along with an expansion of the paint shop and renovation of the existing body shops.
By Plant Engineering Staff
BMW this week announced it will invest an additional $750 million in its upstate South Carolina factory, adding 1.5 million square feet and 500 new jobs on site.
The investment is the largest ever announced for the Spartanburg County factory, increasing investments of the BMW Group in its South Carolina operations to $4.2 billion. The expansion will house production of three models and increase production capacity from 160,000 to 240,000 units by 2012.
The three-year construction project includes a new 1.2 million square foot assembly facility north of the existing factory to accommodate the next generation BMW X3 sport utility vehicle. In addition, the paint shop will expand by 300,000 square feet, about 80 percent. The existing body shops will be renovated.
After the expansion, the facility will manufacture the BMW X3 and X5 sports utility vehicles, the X6 sports utility coupe, and their respective variants for world markets. A highlight will be the production of a diesel X5 sports utility vehicle for the United States market starting later this year.
“Centralizing our know-how for BMW X models in Spartanburg will enable us to work more efficiently, thus supporting our long-range corporate strategy. In addition, it was a logical step for the BMW Group as a global player to increase production capacity in its largest market,” said BMW board member Frank-Peter Arndt.
“The boost in the production capacity at BMW Manufacturing will positively impact the logistics, supplier and distribution networks that support the manufacturing processes,” added Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing. While the supplier network may grow, existing supplier companies will ramp up operations to provide automotive parts for the higher production levels, doubling parts container traffic and significantly increasing exports through the Port of Charleston.
Log onto www.bmwusfactory.com to watch video of comments from Arndt and South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, as well as groundbreaking ceremonies for the expansion.
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2012 Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.