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BMW Announces $1 Billion Investment and 800 New Jobs in South Carolina
BMW is celebrating its 20 years of production in the U.S. by announcing plans to invest $1 billion at its Spartanburg County plant. The investment is expected to increase the facility’s total workforce to 8,800 by 2016 adding 800 new jobs. During its announcement, the company also said that the Spartanburg facility will start producing the new BMW X7.
At the event, Harald Kruger, Board of Management member for Production of the company said, “The state of South Carolina has supported us as a valuable and reliable partner throughout our 20-year involvement in the region – making the United States our second home.”
A new study by the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina reports that BMW’s presence supports more than 30,000 jobs and has a $16.6 billion impact on the state’s annual economy.
The new investment and expansion would make the Spartanburg facility BMW’s largest in the world. BMW CEO, Dr. Norbert Reithofer said, “We will expand the plant’s annual production capacity by 50% up to 450, 000 vehicles by the end of 2016. Today’s capacity is around 300,000 vehicles.”
This would also indicate the installation of better processes, pipelines, machinery, and innovative technology, if the company expects the production to go up by 50%, by making an addition of only 10% to the existent workforce.
Friday’s event also celebrated the beginning of the production of the BMW X4 at the plant and a plug-in hybrid X5 is expected to start production in the near future. In the last 20 years of its existence, the Spartanburg facility has produced over 2.6 million vehicles for customers of BMW around the world. The facility produces all current models from BMW X3 to X6 M and X7 would start soon.
SUVs have grown more popular in recent years, accounting for 32 per cent of total US vehicle sales last year, up from around 19 per cent in 1999 and BMW’s investment plans reflect that reality.
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