By Matthew Clark
Published Feb. 12, 2016
The BMW Manufacturing Co. plant in Greer became the company’s leading exporter by value in 2015.
|A BMW X model is being loaded onto a ship at the Port of Charleston. BMW Manufacturing Co. reported an export value of nearly $10 billion for 2015. (Photo provided by BMW Manufacturing Co.)|
The company said the value of exports coming out of the Greer plant and through the Port of Charleston was $9.8 billion. That was a 7.8% increase over the value in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2014, the value of exports from the BMW plant was approximately $9.2 billion, a 13% increase over 2013.
“2015 was a great year for BMW in the United States … We had a record production year and a record sales year,” said Manfred Erlacher, BMW Manufacturing Co. president and CEO, in a statement. “These achievements are significant and clearly reinforce BMWs ongoing commitment to the U.S.”
More than 280,000 vehicles were exported from the S.C. plant in 2015, more than 70% of the total volume of the plant, according to the company.
In August, BMW Group, parent company to BMW Manufacturing Co., said the Upstate facility was positioned to be the largest production facility in the BMW network thanks to a $1 billion investment by the company. Currently, the plant produces more than 1,400 vehicles each day and is the sole exporter of the company’s X3, X4, X5 and X6 models.
Of the 346,023 sales recorded by BMW in 2015, nearly 30% were from the Upstate-produced X models as the plant set a record of 400,904 vehicles produced at the plant. BMW said the S.C. facility exports to more than 140 global markets.
According to the International Trade Administration, South Carolina exported more than $15 billion in transportation equipment to world markets in 2015. Germany received $3.35 billion of those exports, while China received just over $3 billion. Other countries receiving large transportation equipment exports from the state were the United Kingdom at $2.54 billion, Japan at $1.1 billion and Canada at $1 billion.
The BMW Group recently announced setting a global sales record in January with 152,879 sales across the group, including BMW and Mini. The X3 model had a 16.6% jump in sales compared to January 2015 while sales of the X6 increased by 24.2%. The plant produced around 25,000 X models in January 2016.
The BMW Manufacturing Co. plant employs 8,000 and has 270 suppliers in North America, including 70 in South Carolina.
Reach Matthew Clark at 864-235-5677, ext. 107, or @matthewclark76 on Twitter.