BMW announced Friday that the company will expand its plant in Spartanburg County with a $1 billion investment, which is expected to create 800 new jobs.
The expansion includes the addition of a fifth vehicle platform at the plant -- the X7 -- and it will increase production capacity from 350,000 units to 450,000 units annually, making the Spartanburg facility the highest-capacity plant in the BMW global system by the end of 2016.
Since the original decision to build BMW's only U.S. plant in South Carolina in 1992, BMW's investment in South Carolina has totaled $6.3 billion. Friday's announcement represents its largest, single investment to date in its South Carolina presence and the fifth major expansion of the plant.
Since 1994, the plant has produced seven different BMW models and their variants (318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6, X3 and X4). Employment has grown significantly from 500 in 1994 to an expected 8,000 by the end of this year.
BMW's Spartanburg facility produced 297,326 vehicles in 2013 for 140 global markets. More than 70 percent of the vehicles produced (210,670 units) were exported, with the automaker being the Port of Charleston's top user by cargo value as well as a major customer of the new South Carolina Inland Port in Greer.
"Governor (Nikki) Haley, the government of South Carolina welcomed us here 20 years ago. Today, I want to thank you for your continued efforts in promoting this partnership as many former governors before you have done. Your personal commitment to the plant has truly been appreciated,” said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG.
"BMW's decision to locate in South Carolina was a game-changer 20 years ago, and today's commitment of another $1 billion investment and 800 jobs in Spartanburg County is another game-changing moment. This is a real testament to our strong business environment and skilled workforce and we couldn't be more excited to see BMW continuing to grow and invest in our state for many years to come,” said Haley.