BMW Group Plant Spartanburg, the automaker’s largest factory, came roaring back in 2021 and set a new production volume record with 433,810 BMWs built. Last year marked the first time since 2020 that the plant set a new production record, surpassing the 2019 total of 411,620 by a wide margin. This is the fourth time since 1992 that BMW’s Spartanburg plant has produced more than 400,000 vehicles in a single year, with 400,904 made in 2015, and 411,171 in 2016. In addition to setting a new record for overall production output, the plant also produced more plug-in hybrid electric vehicles than ever before, with approximately 70,000 having originated from the facility in 2021. Finally, Spartanburg’s 2021 production volume came in 20% higher than that of 2020, when operations were temporarily suspended.
“The fact that the Plant Spartanburg team set a production record during a very unpredictable year is a testament to the commitment and flexibility of our associates,” said Dr. Robert Engelhorn, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “Our associates continue to build premium quality products that are in high demand by our customers around the world.”
Two of the three most popular BMW models s0ld in the U.S. are produced at Spartanburg. These include of the BMX X3, 113,831 of which were built at the plant last year, along with the X5, with production of 165,704 units. The two volume sellers were followed by the BMW X4 SAC, with 52,935 units, 50,724 units of the X7, and 35,421 X6 SACs. Spartanburg is also responsible for building the array of Motorsport X vehicles, including 4,418 of the X3 M, 2,555 of the X4 M, 4,976 of the X5 M, and 3,184 of the X6 M in 2021. On the opposite side of the equation, Spartanburg saw production of PHEVs increase 48% during 2021, with roughly 70,000 built. That figure is comprised of 39,883 X5 xDrive45e hybrids, and more than 30,000 X3 xDrive30e hybrids.
“Electric mobility is becoming a growth driver and success factor for the company,” said Dr. Engelhorn. “Our plant is fully on board to support BMW Group’s electrification strategy. We look forward to adding the all-new BMW XM to the Plant Spartanburg family of X models. Series production of the BMW XM, the first plug-in hybrid high-performance model in the BMW M portfolio, will begin in late 2022.”
Of the 433,810 BMW X vehicles built at Spartanburg during 2021, 179,840, or 41%, were sold in the U.S. Those vehicles accounted for 53.4% of BMW brand sales in the U.S., and BMW X vehicles in general accounted for 60% of U.S. BMW brand sales last year. Since breaking ground in 1992, BMW has invested approximately $11,900,000,000 in Spartanburg, eventually making it the automaker’s largest production facility with daily output of more than 1,500 vehicles. The majority of BMWs produced in Spartanburg are exported to 125 global markets, allowing the plant to be the largest U.S. exporter in terms of value for seven years in a row. BMW Group Plant Spartanburg employs a staff of more than 11,000 and has annual output capacity of 450,000 units. The plant celebrated production of its 5,000,000th vehicle during the summer of 2020. Construction is currently underway on a new $100,000,000 onsite logistics center.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]