Last year was not only a great one in terms of M model sales for BMW, but also for models like the X3, X5, and X7. The bulk of BMW SAVs (and SACs) are manufactured at BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, and during 2019, BMW’s largest facility produced more vehicles than ever before. Over the last twelve months, Spartanburg built over 400,000 BMWs for just the third time in its existence, with the total coming to 411,620—just enough enough to beat 2016’s total of 411,171.
If you’ve been keeping up with our monthly North American sales reports, or if you’ve been to a BMW dealership at any point during the past three years, you’ll likely have an idea that the X3 is BMW’s most popular model in the market. Of the more than 115,000 produced at Spartanburg last year, over 70,000 went to customers in the U.S., and the story is much the same for the X5. BMW’s staple SAV, now being manufactured in its fourth-generation, was sold nearly 55,000 times in the U.S. during 2019, accounting for 34% of Spartanburg production. Of the nearly 53,000 X7s that left the factory last year, 41%, or roughly 22,000 remained in the U.S., further proving the efficacy of BMW’s American investments and the robust multiplier they create in the economy.
It’s not all about the SAVs, though, as models like the X4 and X6 were also responsible for a large portion of production. Although BMW sold just 8,758 X4 SACs in the U.S. during 2019, Spartanburg built more than 65,000 of them, solidifying the fact that they are popular in other markets. It’s a similar story with the X6, of which fewer than 5,000 were delivered in the U.S. last year, while total production was over 17,000.
BMW Plant Spartanburg is almost continuously being updated, expanded, and improved as well. Over the past three years, the number of models launched that the factory is responsible for building has expanded significantly. It’s all paying off as well, with 2019 marking the introduction of new generations of models as varied as those from M and i Performance. We’re talking about vehicles like the X3 and X4 M, the X5 and X6 M, all of their respective fire-breathing Competition sub-variants, and hybrids like the X5 xDrive45e and X3 xDrive 30e.
BMW Plant Spartanburg is a coveted asset to the BMW Group, and a symbol of pride for American manufacturing. With some of the important models mentioned above going on sale this year, the future looks bright for BMW’s largest production site.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]