leading U.S. automotive exporter

BMW reigns again as nation’s largest vehicle exporter

BMW Manufacturing Co. has announced that the export value of its passenger vehicles through the Port of Charleston in 2015 totaled $9.8 billion, confirming the company’s Greer facility as the leading U.S. automotive exporter by value, a position it’s enjoyed since 2014.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, this accomplishment represents a 7.8-percent increase since then.

More than 280,000 vehicles were exported from BMW’s South Carolina plant in 2015, more than 70 percent of the plant’s total volume.

“Once again BMW is proud to claim the top vehicle-exporter spot,” said Manfred Erlacher, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “We had a record production year and a record sales year. In addition to being the largest U.S. automotive exporter, our South Carolina plant has also become the largest facility in BMW’s global production network. These achievements are significant and clearly reinforce BMW’s ongoing commitment to the U.S.”

BMW Manufacturing currently produces more than 1,400 vehicles each day and is the exclusive exporter of X-model vehicles (X3, X4, X5 and X6) to more than 140 global markets. In 2015 the Greer plant produced a record 400,904 vehicles, and a $1 billion expansion investment announced in 2014 continues.

The BMW brand finished 2015 with record sales of 346,023 vehicles in the U.S. Nearly 30 percent of that represents a Greer-made X-Model.

“BMW has been a treasured part of the South Carolina family since the first cars rolled out of its Spartanburg County facility,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. “Today’s announcement is another reminder that there’s no limit to what we can achieve when Team South Carolina, and our world class workforce, work together with a great corporate citizen like BMW.”

“We congratulate BMW on being the largest automotive exporter to the world as its value reaches nearly $10 billion,” said S.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt. “This announcement reinforces the success a company can have when choosing to locate or expand here in South Carolina. We look forward to their continuing to grow and thrive for many years to come.”

Greer’s Inland Port enables BMW to ship vehicles overnight 212 miles to the Port of Charleston.

“SC Ports Authority has a strong partnership with BMW, and their operations are a tremendous asset to our port,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “We are proud to serve the nation’s leading automotive exporter through both our Charleston and Greer facilities and look forward to supporting their future growth.”

Story by Michael Burns