Homecoming: BMW Plant Spartanburg making final preparations to begin production of all-new BMW X5.
As Americans enjoy the holiday week and prepare for their summer adventures, preparations of a different kind are nearing completion at BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina: the final phases of gearing up for production of the all-new BMW X5, which begins later this summer.
Four generations of leadership.
As the fourth generation of BMW X5, the all-new model joins a proud lineage and history of leadership. When it was introduced nearly 20 years ago, the original BMW X5 launched not only the BMW X model family, but launched the Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) segment for the industry. Since then, the BMW X5 has firmly established itself as one of the pillars of the BMW model line, selling more than 2.2 million examples world-wide across the first three model generations. In the US, the BMW X5 has ranked in the top three best-selling BMW models every year since 2001. This tremendous success has come with several expansions of BMW Plant Spartanburg – now the largest BMW plant in the world.
From South Carolina, BMW X models for the US and the world.
The all-new BMW X5 will be the tenth X model to be produced at Plant Spartanburg since it began operations in 1994. As the BMW global center of competence for X models, Plant Spartanburg has already been busy in 2018; the all-new BMW X5 was preceded by the launch of the all-new BMW X4 in April. Plant Spartanburg also builds the BMW X3 and X6. With these all-new models and tremendous demand for BMW X models around the world, production in Spartanburg will further grow in the next years and is planned to ramp-up to fully utilize the yearly capacity of 450,000 units.
BMW’s manufacturing plant in South Carolina is the single largest exporter of automobiles by value in the United States. Since the introduction of the original BMW X5, two of every three vehicles produced were exported for sale to customers outside the US. When considering the Spartanburg-built X3, X4, X5, and X6 together, more than 70 percent of the annual production is shipped to export markets.
The size of the workforce has also grown substantially at Plant Spartanburg, from an initial 500 people in 1994 to more than 10,000 people today – with another 1000 expected to join by 2021. A 2017 study by the University of South Carolina finds that for every 10 jobs that are directly generated at a U.S. BMW facility, an additional 90 jobs are created elsewhere in the U.S. economy as a direct result of these BMW jobs.
BMW U.S. purchasing of parts and materials for production at our U.S. plant totaled nearly $6 Billion (USD) in 2017 from more than 300 U.S. supplier companies.
Training at the plant employs a dual apprenticeship training system that combines classroom learning with practical experience. In the past ten years, the BMW Group has invested more than 220 million US dollars in vocational and continued training at its Spartanburg facility, with another 200 million US dollars planned over the next five years. The training programs are run in cooperation with local colleges.