BMW Marks Two Milestones, Plus New Model at Spartanburg Plant

BMW manufacturing in Spartanburg has had a lot to celebrate lately.

Earlier in September, the factory produced its 6 millionth BMW vehiclewhich was a java green metallic X6 M SUV, a performance vehicle with a 600 horsepower twin-turbo V-8.

On the heels of this milestone, the plant celebrated 30 years since its inauguration in Spartanburg on September 30, 1992.

Now the factory will begin building its newest addition to its SUV fleet in December, the Hybrid Performance BMW XM. The production version was recently unveiled and will combine electric motors with a V-8 engine to improve performance and fuel economy.

The vehicle will have a fuel economy of 176.6 mpg in the Global harmonized light vehicle test (a global standard for power and economy testing) while producing 653 horsepower – capable of taking the vehicle from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, BMW said. The vehicle is capable of an electric-only mode of around 55 miles. The XM is a celebration of another milestone – the 50th anniversary of the Motorsport division, according to BMW.

BMW’s Upstate Legacy

Over the past 30 years, the plant has grown into BMW’s largest manufacturing facility and as of June 2020 has built 1 million vehicles. In 2021, the plant produced a record 433,810 vehicles and, according to BMW, the plant showed no signs of slowing down in the first half of 2022.

BMW Greer Factory Antenna
Aerial footage shows the BMW plant in Spartanburg County. Photo provided.

“I am incredibly proud of our associates and the resilience they have shown during this volatile time,” said Robert Engelhorn, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “We have world-class people building world-class vehicles.”

The factory was BMW’s first outdoors Germany, and it has become a huge driver of growth in the upstate. Since 1992, BMW has invested $12 billion in its Caroline from the south operations, and 60 percent of the vehicles produced at the plant are shipped to 120 countries.

The plant employs approximately 11,000 people and generates thousands of additional jobs for suppliers in the region.

“When we turn a few shovels full of good Spartanburg County soil…it will be a symbol of a new era of quality focused on the next century of progress and based on the South Carolina philosophy of taking care of our families. and our children,” South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell said at the groundbreaking in 1992. “To the family of BMW associates around the world, I welcome to our family.”

The BMW XM concept vehicle. Photo courtesy of BMW Manufacturing

Production milestones

  • 1 millionth BMW — February 28, 2006 — Z4 M Roadster
  • 2 millionth BMW — January 12, 2012 — X3 xDrive 35i
  • 3 millionth BMW — March 24, 2015 — X5 M
  • 4 millionth BMW — September 8, 2017 — X3 xDrive M40i
  • 5 millionth BMW — June 4, 2020 — X5 M Competition
  • 6 millionth BMW — September 2, 2022 — X6 M