Greer-produced BMWs race past $9 billion value, keeps S.C. nation's leading auto exporter

Second inland port warehouse, 337,000-square-feet, could be added

Published on Friday, February 13, 2015

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The new x5, manufactured in Greer, is now available in South Africa.


The new x5, manufactured in Greer, is now available in South Africa.


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.

“Claiming the top spot for U.S. automobile exports rounds out a very successful year for BMW in South Carolina. With more than 364,000 units, 2014 was also a record production year for the plant,” stated Manfred Erlacher, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “Our company’s significant contribution to the U.S. balance of trade strengthens our position as the leading manufacturer of premium vehicles for the world.”

BMW Manufacturing produces more than 1,200 vehicles each day and is the exclusive exporter of passenger vehicles to more than 140 global markets. In 2014, the plant celebrated two decades of production, announced a $1 billion investment and a production capacity increase to 450,000 vehicles that will make the Spartanburg plant the largest BMW plant in the world.

The Greer plant produced 29,988 BMWs in January and is on pace to produce nearly 360,000 vehicles this year.

“BMW vehicles, world renowned for their brand and quality, continue to be a major contributor to the South Carolina Ports Authority’s overall success,” added Jim Newsome, President and CEO, South Carolina Ports Authority. “We are proud to handle both finished vehicles and parts for BMW, whose presence in South Carolina endorses the capabilities of our ports and logistics infrastructure.”

The Greer Inland Port is a vital link to Charleston, offering overnight rail delivery. Norfolk Southern had a total of 42,555 rail moves in its first full calendar year of operation in 2014.

BMW built a $13.4 million, 414,534-square-foot warehouse adjacent to the port to assemble the vehicles in kits for exporting. Another 337,000-square-feet of covered space could be added as needed, according to an analysis presented at Greer City Council Tuesday.



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