Expanding its commitment to manufacturing vehicles in the U.S., BMW has announced that it is investing $1 billion in its Spartanburg, South Carolina, assembly plant. At a ceremony celebrating 20 years of successful operations there, Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW Group noted that the investment will increase the plant's annual production capacity by 50% -- up to 450,000 units by the end of 2016 -- and add 800 jobs to the existing 8,000 person workforce. He also confirmed that in addition to the X3, X5, X6 and new X4 models already being built there, BMW will expand its SUV lineup to include a new range-topping 7-passenger model, the BMW X7.
"We are expanding BMW Plant Spartanburg as our Center of Competence for production of BMW X models and broadening our product portfolio," Reithofer said. "This expansion means Spartanburg will have the largest production capacity of any plant in our global production network." The facility exports about 70% of its annual production. Last year, that dollar figure topped $7.5 billion, which according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, makes BMW the largest U.S. vehicle exporter by value to non-NAFTA countries.
Although light on details about the new BMW X7 - which will likely be introduced as a 2017 model -- Reithofer did promise the vehicle will be highly fuel efficient while offering outstanding driving performance. "It will be a true BMW."
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