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BMW’s S.C. Plant Hits Record Production

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 3:03pm
Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Spartanburg, S.C. — BMW Manufacturing achieved a record production year throughout 2012, with total production landing at 301,519 vehicles for the year. The company says this represents a 9 percent increase over volume for 2011, during which it produced 276,065 vehicles, and is the highest annual volume recorded in the Spartanburg plant’s 19-year history.

In a statement, Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing Co., said: “Our Associates are very committed to building quality products for the world. Our customers recognize that and are responding positively. In order to sustain our success, we must continue to be flexible and competitive.”

In January 2012, BMW Manufacturing announced a $900 million investment to expand the Spartanburg plant by 1.6 million square feet and implement an additional vehicle model. The company says this construction project, which includes a 650,000 square foot paint shop, among other additions, has created 500 construction jobs. Once the expansions are complete, they will help boost annual volume beyond 350,000 units, with a target of exporting 70 percent of output to 130 global markets.

The production volume increase comes on the heels of a banner year for the company, with global sales of the BMW brand rising 11.6 percent to a record 1.54 million cars and sport utility vehicles throughout 2012. Overall December sales rose 18.8 percent over the previous year. The company also saw some bright spots among certain models — annual sales of the 6 Series rose 148 percent over 2011, while sales of the 1 Series were up 28.6 percent.

"2012 was a very successful year for us. The BMW Group achieved its best ever sales result for the second year in a row and expanded its lead in the premium segment. Our success can be attributed to our attractive model portfolio, the strength of our premium brands, as well as a strategy of balanced sales across all continents," said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing BMW, in a statement.

2012 was a strong year for U.S. automotive sales overall, with year-to-date car sales up 18.8 percent over 2011. Barring a poor outcome from the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, this year could be even stronger for automakers, particularly in the U.S., which has traditionally been a key market for global manufacturers.

The news regarding production volume follows on the heels of the grand opening of a health clinic made available to families of Spartanburg employees. The Associate Family Health Center is made available to all BMW Associates, eligible retirees and their dependants, and is staffed with what the company calls “highly-trained professionals and … the latest in healthcare technology.”

“We want to bring quality health care to associates and their families in a cost-effective and efficient manner,” said Annmarie Higgins, Vice President of Human Resources for BMW Manufacturing. “We want to provide individuals greater opportunity to reach and maintain optimal health through education, prevention, early detection and management of existing health conditions.”

The $5 million investment be independently managed by Walgreens Take Care Health Systems. By locating the clinic onsite at the Spartanburg plant, the company hopes to save on healthcare costs while increasing productivity for employees and their families.

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