Production Overview

Stats and Information

BMW Manufacturing employs more than 11,000 people to produce the X3, X5 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicle and the X4 and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. The 1,150-acre, 7-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 $10 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

  • The plant is now approximately 7-million-square-feet under roof
  • Opened for production: July 11, 1994
  • First vehicle produced: White 318i, September 8, 1994
  • Average daily output: Over 1,400 vehicles
  • Total production since 1994: More than 4 million vehicles (since 1994)
  • Number of jobs: 11,000
  • U.S. Suppliers: 300
  • South Carolina Suppliers: More than 40

Random Facts From The Floor

  • 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

  •  2019 Production - August
    • X3 Vehicles: 11,511
    • X4 Vehicles:6,483
    • X5 Vehicles:  16,909
    • X6 Vehicles: 652
    • X7 Vehicles: 5,493
  • Number of jobs – 11,000
  • U.S. suppliers – 300
  • South Carolina suppliers– Over 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 five days before it is built.