BMW Expands Export Operation from South Carolina.
As one of the largest automotive exporters in the U.S., BMW has announced the expansion of the company’s export program to emerging markets. Originally announced in 2011 to support export of BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicles to certain countries, BMW will now expand this operation to include the new BMW X5. To support this expansion, the company will relocate its export operation, currently in Duncan, S.C., to a new building being developed adjacent to the new South Carolina Inland Port (SCIP) in Greer, SC.
“Our export program enables BMW to invest in new markets where we see potential for future growth,” said Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing Co. “Since 2011, demand for the X3 from emerging markets has nearly doubled and we believe the X5 will follow this trend.”
BMW will continue to partner with syncreon, who will manage the company’s warehousing and logistics operation, preparing shipments of parts and components to markets such as Russia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt.
“syncreon and BMW have worked together to develop an efficient process that prepares, packages, and delivers BMW vehicle parts and components to global markets,” said Michael Neumann, President, syncreon Automotive. syncreon celebrates BMW’s continued product success and is pleased to support Spartanburg’s export operation expansion. syncreon is proud to be associated with the great people and products of BMW.”
The new export operation near the SCIP will occupy 413,000 square feet (the current operation in Duncan occupies 156,000 square feet) and has the ability for additional expansion up to 750,000 square feet. The operation is expected to make its first shipment from the new location in January 2014.
The majority of parts and components shipments prepared for export at this new facility will be railed via sea container to the Port of Charleston from SCIP. The property tract near the Inland Port is ideally situated for this operation because it allows BMW to re-use the sea containers that are used to ship parts into the plant from non-NAFTA markets. Once the sea containers are unloaded at the plant, they can be returned to BMW’s export operation to be loaded and railed back to the Port of Charleston. Over 9,000 sea containers are forecasted to be used for this program in 2014. This efficiency eliminates interstate traffic from Greer to Charleston and avoids the return of empty containers.
BMW announced that it began production of the third-generation X5 on August 1. The company has produced over 1.3 million BMW X5’s since 1999. 70% of the South Carolina plant’s production volume is exported to 140 markets around the world. BMW has produced nearly 2.5 million vehicles since 1994 in South Carolina and is currently in the midst of a $900 million expansion adding 1.6 million square feet of production and logistics space.