Production Overview
Manufacturing

Production Overview

Stats and Information

BMW Manufacturing employs 8,000 people to produce the X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and the X4 and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. The 1,150-acre, 5-million-square-foot campus generates its own power, offers an on-site Family Health Center and provides 24-hour security and firefighting personnel. To date, BMW has invested over $6 billion in its South Carolina operations.




For Starters

  • Fastest factory start-up in automotive history—a record 23 months from site groundbreaking to first car produced
  • BMW’s first full manufacturing facility outside Germany and first U.S. production facility
  • First automobile manufacturing plant in the United States to use water-based (instead of high solvent) paints
  • Catalyst for the first 100% digitally developed vehicle manufactured by BMW—X5 Sports Activity Vehicle
  • Engineered a successful landfill methane “Gas to Energy” program that provides 50% of the plant’s total energy requirements
  • Named a ‘2006 Top Plant’ by Plant Engineering Magazine
  • 80% of cars produced are customized for individual customers

Selected Plant Manufacturing Stats

  • Following the 2012 expansion, the plant is now over 5-million-square-feet under roof
  • Opened for production: July 11, 1994
  • First vehicle produced: White 318i, September 8, 1994
  • Average daily output: About 1,100 vehicles
  • Total production since 1994: Over 2,600,000 vehicles (through December 2013)
  • Number of jobs: 8,000
  • North American Suppliers: 170
  • South Carolina Suppliers: 40

Random Facts From The Floor

  • The paint shop is 7 stories high and contains 4.5 miles of conveyor
  • BMW Manufacturing Co. was the first manufacturer in the U.S. to use water-borne color matched primer
  • More than 36 feet of MIG Weld are used on the X5 body to create more rigidity
  • The Body Shop is 100% automated
  • Positions on the line are rotated to reduce repetition, as well as being used for cross-training
  • Paperwork verifying the correct collaboration and installment of parts travels with the vehicle throughout the line
  • Ten bolts are used to mount the engine to the engine compartment. Total time is about 3 minutes for the engine marriage process.

Production Figures

 

  • 2013 Annual Production
    Total 2013 Production: 297,326
  • 2014 Production - June
    X3 Units: 9,941
    X4 Units: 4,242
    X5 Units: 13,557
    X6 Units: 2,066
  • Number of jobs – 8,000
  • North American suppliers –
    170
  • South Carolina suppliers –
    40

Vehicle Production Process

Freedom of choice – it’s the very heart of the BMW production process. BMW produces at least 80 percent of its vehicles to customer order. When you stop to consider all the unique combinations of exterior and interior colors, engines, options, and upgrades available, it’s enough to tax the imagination. In fact, it’s been said that we could run two shifts a day, seven days a week, for up to six months and never build the same vehicle twice. Perhaps more intriguing is the intricate and intelligent process by which it all comes together: coordinated sequencing of parts and precise engineering that is so unique and so flexible it allows you to make changes to your automobile up until six days before it is built.

The spine of this orchestrated process consists of the main production lines: the Body Shop, the Paint Shop, as well as two Assembly Halls that produce the X3, X4, X5 and X6.