BMW ceremoniously opened its first press shop in North America during a press event on Friday, June 21, 2024, at BMW Plant Spartanburg in Greer, South Carolina. Several hundred attendees and special guests, including  President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing Dr. Robert Englehorn, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, celebrated the 30 years of BMW manufacturing in South Carolina in addition to the completion of the new $200 million press shop, which will initially make parts for the new 2025 BMW X3 models.

The new state-of-the-art press shop at the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg, USA. BMW NA photo.

Dr. Englehorn remarked that, over the last decade, BMW Plant Spartanburg has topped the list of companies for vehicle exports by value. That achievement both validates prior investments by the company and has prompted additional commitment and investment into the successful plant.  Governor McMaster commented, “Since establishing roots in South Carolina 30 years ago, BMW has transformed our state into an automotive powerhouse. Today we proudly celebrate yet another milestone with the opening of BMW’s first North American press shop and we look forward to their continued success in the years to come.”

The new press shop stamp sheet metal into parts for the new BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle, which will be assembled at the plant. Parts the press shop will make include vehicle doors, lift gates, and exterior body panels. According to BMW, over 1.7 million BMW X3 vehicles have been assembled at Plant Spartanburg, with the recently announced 2025 redesigned model being the first that will benefit from the new press shop. To commemorate that milestone and promote the new X3, Dr. Englehorn and Randy Watson, regional vice president for the Southern Region for BMW of North America, introduced the fourth-generation BMW X3, rolling out a white model for the audience.

“After 30 years of successful operations, we are further expanding our commitment. At the end of 2026, assembly of all-electric Sports Activity Vehicles will start here in Spartanburg,” said Dr. Milan Nedeljković, member of BMW’s Board of Management. “This is a further step towards strengthening our global resilience.” He also commented that the day also marked the completion of major construction of the new battery assembly plant at nearby Woodruff, South Carolina. That plant will make batteries for several hybrid and all-electric BMWs, with six all-electric BMW models to be produced at BMW Plant Spartanburg in 2026. Nedeljković remarked that BMW was working to produce more parts in the area to make manufacturing more efficient.

Videos celebrated 30 years of BMW at Plant Spartanburg, highlighting several 30-year associates who have helped assemble over 6.7 million BMWs.

It took two years to build the new 219,000-square-foot press shop and will add more than 200 jobs to the 11,000 already existing at the plant. The press shop will take large steel colls, cut them into “blanks,” feeds those blanks into the press line, which then stamp the metal into the needed parts. According to BMW’s press release, the line can run up to 18 strokes per minute, stamping up to 10,000 parts daily, depending on the needed part sizes.

Presentations at the event highlighted long-term workers, many who have made working at BMW Plant Spartanburg their career since it opened 30 years ago. The workers spoke about how the plant was initially assembling 3 series models, then added the Z3 for a while, and then assembled and launched the first BMW X5 in 1999.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the X5, BMW debuted the Silver Anniversary Edition of the X5 at the event. The limited-edition vehicle will be available in the U.S. market exclusively this fall. According to BMW, nearly three million BMW X5 vehicles have been assembled.

After the ceremony, attendees had the opportunity to view the Silver Anniversary X5 (in rear) and the 2025 BMW X3 (in front).

The press shop was officially started up, with the first door panel coming off it being placed on a mobile easel for the attending dignitaries to sign their names onto. This echoed when workers signed the first BMW assembled at the plant 30 years ago, as highlighted during the video presentations celebrating the anniversary.

According to BMW’s press release, more than 6.7 million BMWs have been assembled at Plant Spartanburg. The release states. “The Spartanburg factory employs more than 11,000 people to assemble the X3, X5, X7 and XM Sports Activity Vehicles and the X4 and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The 1,150-acre, 8-million-square-foot campus includes three body shops with more than 2,600 robots, two paint shops, and two assembly halls. The plant generates about 20 percent of its own power from methane gas and uses hydrogen fuel cell technology to power about 800 pieces of material handling equipment. The BMW Group announced in 2022 that it would invest $1.7 billion in its U.S. operations, including $1 billion to prepare the Spartanburg plant to assemble fully electric vehicles and $700 million to build a new high-voltage battery assembly plant in Woodruff. When completed in 2026, Plant Woodruff will assemble the sixth-generation batteries to supply fully electric vehicles at BMW Manufacturing. By 2030, the BMW Group will assemble at least six fully electric models in the U.S. ”

Read the full release here.




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