Greenville/Spartanburg BMW Plant Spurs Economic Growth in the Greenville Area
The Greenville/Spartanburg BMW manufacturing plant is the center of growth in the Upstate region for the automotive industry. Having created a whole network of suppliers and automotive researchers by locating this plant near Greenville – BMW has created jobs in the region and invested billions of dollars in the greater Greenville/Spartanburg areas.
In 1994, the Greenville/Spartanburg BMW manufacturing plant opened. Because it is the only manufacturing plant in North America for BMW, Greenville and the rest of the Upstate region of South Carolina have experienced tremendous growth and advances in the automotive industry since the plant opened.
The Greenville/Spartanburg BMW plant is located on a 1,150 acre site. Currently the plant serves as the only manufacturing site for BMW’s X3, X5, X6 lines. (An X4 will be added in 2014). This means that the plant manufactures these vehicle lines not only for North American buyers – but buyers world wide. About 70% of the 300,000+ BMWs that were produced in the plant in 2012 were shipped to 130 worldwide markets.
BMW initially invested $2.2 billion in the region when it built the plant in 1994. Since then the plant has undergone four major expansions. And currently, there is a $900+ million expansion underway to expand the facilities to over 5 million square feet to accommodate increased demand and the addition of the new X4 model. Including the expansion that is underway, the BMW Group has committed to a total investment of $6 billion.
Not only has BMW investment created a whole host of jobs working directly at the plant for residents of the Greenville/Spartanburg area – now over 7,000 in all – but it has also created thousands of more jobs in the region because of additional investments by automotive parts suppliers and research facilities that have moved into the area to support BMW’s manufacturing efforts.
A 2008 study by researchers at the University of South Carolina, estimated that the initial investment by BMW has created over 23,000 jobs in South Carolina and generates more than $1.2 billion dollars in salaries for employees each year. According to that same report – for every single job added at the BMW plant, another 4.3 jobs have been created across the state and/or greater Greenville area. The BMW investment continues to have a positive ripple effect across the economy of SC.
With the influx of automotive investment, Clemson University has created the International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) in Greenville as well as the only doctoral program in automotive engineering in the country.
Once known as the textile capital of the world, Greenville is quickly becoming an automotive manufacturing and research center because of the impact of the Greenville/Spartanburg BMW plant.
BMW chose the Greenville area for its manufacturing plant for a number of reasons. Even though there was not a long history in Greenville with the automotive industry prior to the building of the BMW plant – there were a number of factors that played into BMW’s decision. The Greenville region offered a highly trained technical workforce because of the educational system and colleges in the area. There is also a fantastic infrastructure in the area including the interstate highway system, the rail system and the close proximity of a deep water port. Additionally, there are a number of favorable tax laws to promote the growth of industry in the state of South Carolina. Couple this with the close proximity of much of BMW’s target market – the building of the Greenville/Spartanburg BMW plant was an easy decision to make.
Because of the city’s and state’s investments into the growth of the automotive industry – BMW has continued to commit investment dollars to update and expand their manufacturing facilities. And the Greenville/Spartanburg BMW Manufacturing operation continues to be a center of economic growth in the Upstate, working as an economic catalyst for the whole region,
GUIDED PLANT TOURS
Should you be traveling to the Greenville SC area, you may want to take advantage of one of the Upstate’s favorite attractions – a visit to the BMW Zentrum Welcoming Center/BMW Museum and with advanced reservations, take a guided plant tour of BMW’s manufacturing operations. The tour lasts about an hour and a half and you will be impressed with BMW’s commitment to building a quality product, the immaculate condition of the facility and BMW’s use of technology and automation.
For more information on a BMW Plant Tour, call 1-888-Tour-BMW (868-7269) or visit
BMW Plant Tour
To learn more about the BMW Manufacturing Operations and/or products, visit BMW US Factory Manufacturing
Updated: Mar., 2013
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