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Greer leaders' thoughts on BMW's $1 billion expansion

Published on Saturday, March 29, 2014

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Left to right: Rep. Tommy Stringer, Ken Harper, Countybank, Ed Driggers, City Administrator, and Mayor Rick Danner.
 

Jim Fair

Left to right: Rep. Tommy Stringer, Ken Harper, Countybank, Ed Driggers, City Administrator, and Mayor Rick Danner.

 



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Left to right: Allen Smith, Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, John Kimbrell, Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Reno Deaton, Greer Economic Development Corp.
 

Jim Fair

Left to right: Allen Smith, Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, John Kimbrell, Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Reno Deaton, Greer Economic Development Corp.

 



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April Staggs, left, Greer State Bank and Judy Albert, Greer City Council (District 6).
 

Jim Fair

April Staggs, left, Greer State Bank and Judy Albert, Greer City Council (District 6).

 



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Jeffrey Tuttle, center, General Manager Greer Commission of Public Works and Ed Driggers, Greer City Administrator.
 

Jim Fair

Jeffrey Tuttle, center, General Manager Greer Commission of Public Works and Ed Driggers, Greer City Administrator.

 



Landmark announcement

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BMW’s announcement at its Greer plant Friday was as staggering as the campus itself at the corner of I-85 an Highway 101.

$1 billion, 800 new jobs that will peak to 8,800, 450,000 vehicles produced a year, 50 percent more than manufactured now, the new X4 is now in production, and an X7, a completely new high-end vehicle, is planned.

And let’s not forget the impact BMW will have on the $50 million Inland Port that graces Greer’s east side. Norfolk Southern will add more rail cars, the 413,000 square-foot BMW, warehouse adjacent to the port, has been prepared to expand to 750,000 square-feet and containers will increase by 10,000 a year coming into the port.

Community leaders, business people and politicians from Greer attended the announcement that included the highest-ranking BMW officials, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Comments from Greer leaders are below.

Mayor Rick Danner

City of Greer

“Another rock in the pond, or more accurately a boulder. The ripple effect of BMW’s announcement on Friday; $1 billion investment, 800 new jobs, a fifth vehicle platform and increased production capacity is historic in and of itself, but the implications to Greer and the Upstate are exponential. Engineering firms, construction companies and materials suppliers will begin an immediate ramp up process to meet an aggressive construction schedule. Increased production will create a need for a growing trained workforce as well as an expanded supplier base and increased production creates opportunity for logistics and transportation companies as well as the Inland Port. BMW’s total investment in South Carolina to date is $6.3 billion dollars so it is easy to see why S.C.’s automotive sector has quadrupled in the past two decades. The City of Greer looks forward to working with our partners at BMW and others in making the Greer plant the highest capacity plant in the BMW global system by the end of 2016.”   

Ed Driggers

Greer City Administrator

This most recent announcement is vastly significant. The impact of the investment and the jobs created will be felt for decades to come.  Through the direct and indirect jobs created by the additional investments at BMW thousands of additional families will have opportunities they never before dreamed possible.  We will continue to see an increase in per capita and family incomes in our community.  This creates additional housing, which creates additional shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities.  

The impact of this announcement will provide significant opportunities to the new SC Inland Port in Greer.  Increased production at BMW ripples throughout the region through its supplier network and support systems.  This is good for the US economy, it's good for SC and Upstate SC, and it's especially good for Greer.  

We are proud to be the home of BMW's only North American manufacturing facility and soon to be BMW's largest worldwide facility.  

Kenneth M. Harper

Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at Countybank

Rhetorically speaking, what community would not welcome a $1 Billion economic development announcement . . . but it is certainly not often that MSAs the size of Greenville/Greer/Spartanburg experience the announcement of an ADDITIONAL $1 Billion investment!  Furthermore, the fact that these announcements from BMW relate to such a world-class, premium product serves to provide this entire region with a tremendous sense of pride.

Today’s announcement also serves to highlight the supply of, and yet tremendous additional need for a highly skilled and trained workforce.  Our number one agenda should be to fill as many of these 800 new jobs with well-qualified local talent.  This is a clear statement that terrific career opportunities are available to those with the appropriate toolbox.

Chuck Langston

Langston-Black Real Estate 

This is more excellent news for the Greer community. The Greer real estate market is very active right now.  The demand for industrial, retail, office and residential properties is very good at this time.  Interest rates are very attractive and prices still very affordable. BMW's new investment in the X 7 is exciting and very encouraging to me.  I believe this will encourage other companies to invest here as well.

Anthony (Tony) Kouskolekas

President, Pelham Medical Center

BMW’s announcement should be exciting to all of us in the Upstate.  The commitment BMW has shown – obviously through the successful work of its leadership and staff – is a testament to the work ethic and commitment in the Upstate.  The high-tech nature of these jobs in not only a positive for our economy but also should help advance our quality of life in the region.

From the perspective of Pelham Medical Center, it provides us with an opportunity to care for more people, should they ever have the need.  Our responsibility and desire is to care for the local community and to grow to meet the community’s needs.  So, as BMW, its supplier base and the community-at-large grow, our responsibility is to ensure we offer the right services, in a quality manner and have them available when and where they are needed.  The continued growth of the Upstate focuses our efforts on delivering the healthcare needed for the community.

Mark Owens

Vice President, Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce

The BMW announcement today of a $1 billion investment and 800 jobs shows that Greer is a great place for business and is on the map in the global market. As BMW celebrates its 20th anniversary here, I can only imagine the growth in the next 20 years for our area not just in big business, but also in the entire local economy.  We have known that Greer is a great place to live and to do business; the rest of the world is finding that out now.  We are honored to represent the great businesses of our community and look forward to being involved in the growth of our small and large businesses that currently call Greer home and those that soon will.

 

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