BMW’s Upstate manufacturing plant produced BMW #3,500,000, in the midst of expanding the plant to capacity of some 450,000 annual vehicles as they plan a new X7 model. They made 400,904 vehicles in 2015, making it the largest BMW plant in the world, producing 1,400 SUVs a day, and the biggest U.S. auto exporter. Some 70% of the SUVs are exported thru the Port of CHS’ Columbus Street Terminal to 140 markets worldwide. John McDermott of The Post and Courier has the article here.
An amazing 400,000 BMWs were manufactured in BMW’s plant in Greer near Greenville/Spartanburg in 2015. That’s almost 1,100 a DAY and 45 each and every HOUR of the year. Incredible. Figures for exports through the Port of CHS are not yet out, but $9.2B of autos were shipped out in 2014. Add Daimler’s and Volvo’s exports in the next two to three years that will swell these figures to make SC one of the largest auto exporters in the nation; its already one of the largest tire exporters in the U.S. David Wren has the story here for The Post and Courier.
David Wren of The Post and Courier reports the Army Corps of Engineers has approved the deepening of the Port of CHS from 45′ to 52′ to handle post-Panamax ships so they can carry up to 14,500 cargo boxes thru the Port at any time of the day (instead of waiting on incoming high tides). It was unanimously approved by the Corps’ Civil Works Review Board in Washington; next step is for the Corps’ Chief of Engineers to sign off (expected in September) to present to Congress for funding this Fall. Total cost – about $509M. At 52′, CHS would offer the deepest harbor on the East Coast. The port is a huge component to the CHS economy, handling some $60B of cargo, including some 800-1000 BMWs each week coming from the Upstate, and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and Volvo cars would be next.
The Columbus Street Terminal in CHS has recently been upgraded in concert with the $1 billion expansion of the BMW plant in Greer. The carmaker exports to over 100 worldwide destinations thru the port and is planning to have capacity for production of more than 450,000 SUVs each year, including the recently announced X7, its largest SUV ever at what will be the world’s largest BMW assembly plant. Tyrone Richardson of The Post and Courier has the article.
BMW’s announcements to invest another $1B in the Upstate near Greenville will directly impact CHS with three out of every four BMWs exported going thru the CHS Ports – that’s 200,000 SUVs each year or 4,000 a week. The Post and Courier’s Tyrone Richardson has the story prior to BMW’s official expansion announcement that occurred on Friday.
In a not-so-surprise announcement, BMW announced on Friday that it would invest another $1 billion to expand its manufacturing plant in the Greer, near Greenville/Spartanburg to build the next generation newer/bigger SUV, the X7, at its only North American plant. The announcement will increase annual production capacity to 450,000 vehicles and add another 800 employees. The State newspaper has the brief story.
The State newspaper in Columbia has a great article on an update on the speculation of the BMW announcement on Friday, possibly one of the worst kept business secrets in the past month. BMW is expected to announce a new SUV model, the larger X7, and its Greer plant near Greenville making the new SUV to add to the nearly 350,000 SUVs they already make there (that’s 7,000 a WEEK for those keeping score). Its only plant in the U.S., they just recently completed a $1Billion expansion doubling its size and it looks like they could add another $1B and add a third factory on their 1,200 acre site, according to the article. Its important to CHS as all the SUVs they make in the U.S. are exported to Europe and South America via the Port of CHS.
The article also talks about BMW and its decision to locate/expand in Greer and its proximity to tire manufacturers as SC was the #1 tire producer in the U.S. for the third straight year in 2013.
John McDermott of The Post and Courier has a story on the chatter of BMW possibly announcing a (nother) major expansion of their assembly plant in Greer, their only assembly operation in the U.S., the same plant they doubled in size two years ago at a cost of $900M. They produced 300,000 SUVs in 2013 out of Greer, that’s over 800 vehicles a DAY. And with the U.S. the “world’s largest premium market” the chatter – from BMW executives themselves – is to expand the plant’s capacity and its workforce of 8,000 to include a rumored new vehicle, the X7. We will all know next week at an announcement on March 28 from Greer that will include Governor Nikki Haley and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. With speakers like that this is surely going to be a major announcement. And it is relevant to CHS as all of the exported BMWs from Greer go thru the Port of CHS via rail and then to the Columbus Street Pier right downtown.