BMW Spends a Billion in U.S. Since ‘08

According to Dr.-Ing.

According to Dr.-Ing. Norbert Reithofer, BMW Group chairman, between 2008 and 2010 BMW has invested $1-billion in the U.S. Yes, that’s billion with a B.

Of that sum, $750-million was spent at the company’s manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in preparation for the just-launched BMW X3, which is being produced in a new 1.2-million square-foot facility. The addition, which includes expansion of both the Body and Paint shops will allow BMW to double production in the plant by 2011, going from 160,000 to 240,000 units per year.

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“The U.S. will remain the world’s largest premium market for the foreseeable future and we intend to participate in the expected growth with the expansion of our activities here,” Reithofer said.

BMW has been building vehicles in Spartanburg since 1994, and since that time, more than 1.6-million units have been produced there. B

With the expansion, 1,600 jobs are being added, which will bring the total number of employees in the plant to 7,600 by the end of the year.

One interesting aspect of the new X3 production facility is that it has sufficient flexibility to allow customers to specifically order their vehicle; they will be able to make changes to their order until six days before start of production for their X3.

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It’s also worth noting that the Spartanburg plant, where the X5 and X6 are also exclusively produced, is a major exporter of product: more than 70% of the vehicles produced there are exported to world markets. This makes the plant the largest automotive exporter from the U.S. to non-NAFTA countries.

And you may be wondering where the other quarter-billion went: to build two new U.S. regional distribution centers and to expand and update BMW Group’s U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.