Just like clockwork, another special ceremony was held at the Greer plant this morning, as BMW celebrated its three millionth vehicle to roll off the assembly line.
The vehicle, a Donington Grey Metallic X5 M with Mugello Red Full Merino leather seats and carbon fiber interior trim, was driven by associate Dawn Burgess, hired in 1994. Burgess presented the keys to the vehicle to Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing.
The Greer Inland Port saw gains in February result with 4,631 rail moves completed during the month. The port has handled 35,126 rail moves fiscal year to date and is nearly 50 percent ahead of plan, according to the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA).
The SCPA announced February is the second consecutive month of 18 percent container growth at its ports, bringing fiscal year container volumes totals to 1.23 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs.
The Upstate SC Alliance introduced a regional export plan outlining specific steps local business, civic and government leaders will take to promote economic development in the 10-county Upstate region.
It assesses the Upstate’s export climate, sets market-based goals for increasing exports and lays out strategies for supporting local businesses in increasing exports.
The BMW Manufacturing facility in Greer has informed associates and suppliers it will be closed early Thursday and to call in the morning to determine when the plant will resume shifts. An expected half-foot of snow or more was forecast in the Upstate.
The Greer Inland Port has not made a decision but expects to announce its operating schedule this evening. The port will follow closely BMW’s closing and re-opening.
A site operations center has been approved by the South Carolina Ports Authority to be built on the BMW campus in Greer.
BMW leases the industrial site from the SCPA, and as the landowner SCPA will manage the construction process of the facility, according to the announcement made in Charleston. The project is estimated to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
BMW Manufacturing Co. of Greer announced Friday that the export value of its passenger vehicles through the Port of Charleston in 2014 totaled $9.2 billion, confirming the company as the leading U.S. automotive exporter.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, this accomplishment represents a 13 percent increase over BMW’s 2013 value. In 2014, more than 260,000 vehicles were exported from its Greer plant, over 70 percent of the plant’s total volume.
The City of Greer has committed $1 million to the Partnership For Tomorrow for its 5-year master plan and economic development.
Mayor Rick Danner and City Administrator Ed Driggers made the historic and surprising announcement at a packed Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce First Friday Luncheon at the City Hall events venue. Danner’s address on the value of collaboration and why partnerships work set up the huge economic announcement.
Jim Newsome delivered a glowing message to more than 400 business leaders on the impact the Inland Port at Greer plays in the state’s commerce.
“We are very much dependent on trucks. Every container in the world somehow rides a truck,” Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, said. “They (containers) come by rail to Greer and they still have to go out by truck to somewhere else.”
Chief Chris Harvey of the Greer Fire Department was honored as the recipient of the Citizenship and Service Award at the 77th Annual Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce Thursday night.
Just hours earlier Harvey’s retirement was officially announced for May 1, ending a 38-year career with the Greer Fire Department.
The South Carolina Inland Port at Greer handled 3,741 rail moves in December, completing its first full calendar year of operation in 2014 with 42,555 total rail moves.
Greer’s container traffic helped the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) to report container traffic up 12 percent in 2014.
The Inland Port in Greer is 47 percent ahead of plan, according to the South Carolina Ports Authority.
The SCPA reported Thursday at its monthly board meeting the inland port handled 3,972 rail moves in November. The 21,686 lifts completed fiscal year to date has the facility nearly 50 percent ahead.
A 21st century vision has been launched in Greer by a group of alternative fuel pioneers.
Spire, a natural gas fueling solutions company, came to Greer Thursday to claim its stake in becoming a hub for vehicles – trucks and automobiles – traveling the I-85 corridor.
The Greer Inland Port has exceeded its performance expectations with rail lifts at the facility up 1.5 times over plan with 17,714 moves since July.
The South Carolina Ports Authority reported Wednesday, at its monthly board meeting, the inland port handled 4,678 rail lifts in October. The $50 million Greer port received its first container in mid-October 2013.
Norfolk Southern has added a Saturday outbound train from the Greer Inland Port to Charleston. That increases outbound NS service to six trains a week with a Saturday cutoff of 5 p.m. and availability in Charleston by noon the following Monday.
The schedule of inbound trains per week remains at five while the container gates at the South Carolina Inland Port are open 24/7 for truck activity.
Randy Olson, who helped oversee the greatest growth of Greer Commission of Public Works, will retire effective Dec. 31.
The official announcement for Olson, Engineer & Planning Manager, made mention of his intent to retire. “Randy was in the mix of everything and had more knowledge than anyone. We relied on (Randy) and he delivered,” said Commission Chairman Jeff Howell. “I wish he would stay around. We will definitely miss him.”
The public is invited to participate in the next step of the Greer Community Master Plan, a design workshop to be held on Oct. 21 at the Cannon Centre.
Two sessions are being planned: noon – 2 p.m. and 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Presentations are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The Greer Campus of Greenville Technical College today became the Benson Campus honoring Jim Benson and his $3 million gift to the college.
Benson’s $2 million cash gift is the largest ever received by the Greenville Tech Foundation. In addition, he also pledged an additional $1 million to be paid over five years. In recognition of both gifts, the campus has been renamed and Building 302 will bear the names of Evelyn and Jim Benson.
Greer CPW and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District has agreed on a lease with the option to purchase approximately 5.07 acres for a substation to serve east Greer. Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting also approved a low bid of $684,250 for a Bent Creek pump station upgrade.
The substation property is in Spartanburg County near Victor Hill Road and Hendrix Road. The Inland Port and the BMW Manufacturing warehouse are nearby.
Residents of Greer are invited to express their vision for the community’s future at a workshop Thursday, 5:30 – 7:30 at the Cannon Centre.
“The underlying thing not talked about is that Greer is a small town with a lot of character and is in the middle of an international business community,” said David Langley. “The question is ‘how do you grow without losing the value that makes Greer unique?’”