BMW exporting $7.4 billion from Spartanburg plant

Company’s exports jump 68% after plant expansion over BMW's 2010 value. Over 192,000 vehicles were exported from the Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant in 2011.


BMW’s export of passenger vehicles through the Port of Charleston in 2011 totaled $7.4 billion, making it the leading U.S. automotive exporter. According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, this represents a 68% increase over BMW's 2010 value. In 2011, over 192,000 vehicles were exported from its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant.

"Since the plant's production grew 73% in 2011, the plant's year-end export value proves the company's significant contribution to the U.S. balance of trade and strengthens its position as the leading provider of premium vehicles," said Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing The company currently produces more than 1,000 vehicles each day and is the exclusive exporter of passenger vehicles through the Port of Charleston to more than 130 global markets. In January, the plant announced that its volume would increase to 300,000 for 2012 and they would hire 300 new jobs. By the end of 2014, the South Carolina facility will add a new model, the BMW X4, and increase capacity to 350,000 units.

"BMW continues to offer an economic boost for our State and the region. Today's announcement validates that the U.S. automotive industry is thriving in South Carolina,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

"BMW vehicles manufactured in South Carolina continue to be a major contributor to the Port of Charleston's overall success," added Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. "Consistently strong global sales have driven BMW's volume growth at the port, and we've completed significant improvements to Columbus Street Terminal in anticipation of the ever-rising demand for their product."

"This is an exciting achievement, not only for BMW, but for South Carolina as a whole. It's been a great journey to witness the revitalization of the manufacturing sector in our State," said Bobby Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce.

The plant, which is a former winner of Plant Engineering’s Top Plant award, originally began vehicle production in 1994. In the last 17 years, BMW has produced over two million vehicles and, today, exports about 70% of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles as well as the X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In 2010, the plant's export value was $4.4 billion.

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