Submitted by BMW Group
SPARTANBURG, South Carolina - Ten years ago this week, BMW Manufacturing Corp. broke ground on its Upstate South Carolina facility. Today - the same day that BMW's new Z4 roadster was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show - BMW Manufacturing announced it will invest an additional $400 million in its factory, creating 400 more jobs.
"Our decision to place our U.S. plant in South Carolina has proven to be a successful one as we strive to keep up with customer demand for our X5 sports activity vehicle and begin to build the new Z4 roadster, which will be the third vehicle the factory has manufactured for worldwide distribution," said Dr. Helmut Leube, president of BMW Manufacturing.
"As we look to the future, Clemson's graduate program will create an additional quality source of engineers for BMW as well as the automotive industry, " Leube said. "We are confident that these actions will help assure success tomorrow."
Clemson University President James Barker said the university's strategic plan calls for nationally recognized programs to be built in eight areas, one of which is automotive and transportation technology.
"In identifying these emphasis areas, we looked for areas where our faculty's strengths and interests overlap with the state's economic development needs," Barker said. "This partnership demonstrates the role strong research universities can play in economic development."
The increased capacity will help achieve the BMW Group's goal of increasing worldwide production from about 1 million to 1.3 million vehicles by 2007. The Spartanburg County factory is an integral part of BMW's global production network, and in 2001, one out of six BMWs sold throughout the world was produced at the South Carolina facility.
The state Department of Commerce also will fund a new Interstate 85 interchange at Brockman-McClimon Road near BMW Manufacturing to handle additional traffic created by BMW's capacity increase.
BMW Manufacturing has invested almost $2 billion in its 2.4 million-square-foot plant. The factory has been in a continuous growth pattern with today's announcement being its third additional investment in its 10-year history.
Employment has grown steadily at BMW Manufacturing. When BMW announced it would locate its first full manufacturing facility outside of Germany in South Carolina, the company pledged to employ 2000 associates by the year 2000. BMW employed 3,000 associates by year 2000 and today, more than 4,400 associates work at the Upstate factory.
Vehicle production has also increased to meet growing customer demand. Production has grown from 51,878 units in 1999 to 121,680 vehicles in 2001 with production projected at more than 120,000 units for 2002 and at more than 150,000 units for 2003.
Production of the new Z4 roadster began earlier this month and the factory will face a rapid production ramp-up, reaching at least 230 roadsters a day and bringing the total daily production rate to more than 600 by the beginning of 2003.
The 400 new positions will be filled in the next several months. Interested applicants may apply by logging onto the factory's website at www.bmwusfactory.com and clicking on the "Careers" link.
BMW Manufacturing Corp. is a subsidiary of BMW Group in Munich, Germany. Its website address is www.bmwusfactory.com. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW's North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; an information technology consulting and systems integration firm in South Carolina; a production facility in Mexico; and a design firm in California.
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