BMW to Add New Vehicle, 300 Jobs to Spartanburg, S.C., Facility

The automaker will invest $900 million to expand the 4.4 million-square-foot complex, which produces the X3, X5 and X6 sports-activity vehicles.

BMW said it plans to expand its already-sprawling manufacturing complex in Spartanburg, S.C., to support production of the new BMW X4.

Munich-based BMW said it will spend $900 million to expand the 4.4 million-square-foot complex over the next three years and add 300 new jobs this year.

With the addition of the 300 jobs, the plant's workforce ranks will reach nearly 7,500 by the end of the year, the automaker said.

The expansion news came on the same day that BMW announced that the Spartanburg facility -- BMW's only factory in North America -- has produced 2 million vehicles since opening in 1994.

"Two million vehicles have prepared our team well to meet the new opportunities that lie ahead for our plant," said Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing.

In 2011, the plant produced 276,065 vehicles for more than 130 markets around the world, representing a 73% increase from 2010, according to BMW.

Seventy percent of the vehicles produced (192,813) were exported, making BMW the largest automotive exporter to the non-NAFTA countries.

Since 1994, the plant has undergone four major expansions and produced six different BMW models and their variants (the 318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6 and X3). Employment has grown from 500 in 1994 to more than 7,000 today.

This latest expansion, which will boost the facility's capacity to 350,000 units, "is one reaction to the rising global demand for our BMW X models," said Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW Group board member responsible for production.

Since the original decision to build the plant in South Carolina in 1992, BMW Group has pumped nearly $6 billion into the plant, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

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