BMW Manufacturing celebrates 30 years in Spartanburg with the opening of its first North American press shop and the debut of the fourth-generation BMW X3. The $200M investment will create over 200 jobs and pave the way for electric vehicle production by 2026.

BMW opens first North American press shop, unveils new BMW X3

BMW opens its first North American press shop at Spartanburg

Marking a significant milestone in its 30-year history, BMW Manufacturing has inaugurated its first North American press shop at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. The innovative facility represents a $200 million investment and is set to create over 200 new jobs. The press shop will produce key body components for the new BMW X3, which was also unveiled at the ceremony.

Dr. Milan Nedeljković, BMW AG’s Board Member responsible for Production, highlighted the strategic importance of this development: “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. This is a further step towards strengthening our global resilience.”

BMW Spartanburg

The Spartanburg plant has anchored BMW’s global production network, assembling over 6.7 million vehicles to date

The press shop, spanning 219,000 sq.ft, features advanced stamping processes designed to enhance quality, efficiency, and consistency in producing body parts. This includes essential components such as doors, fenders, lift gates, and exterior body sides. The investment aligns with BMW’s “local-for-local” strategy, ensuring that major parts are produced where they are needed.

”Since establishing roots in South Carolina 30 years ago, BMW has transformed our state into an automotive powerhouse”

- Henry McMaster, South Carolina Governor

Dr. Robert Engelhorn, President and CEO of BMW Manufacturing, praised the new facility: “The advanced stamping processes on our new press line will ensure the highest quality, efficiency, and consistency in body shop parts for our customers.” The press shop’s development involved extensive training for Spartanburg associates at BMW press shops in Swindon, UK, and Leipzig, Germany. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster lauded BMW’s impact on the state: “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 opening ceremony also saw the introduction of the fourth-generation BMW X3, a model integral to BMW’s lineup since 2010. With over 1.7 million units assembled at Spartanburg, the new BMW X3 is set to continue its legacy when it goes on sale in fall 2024. Additionally, a special Silver Anniversary Edition of the BMW X5 was unveiled, celebrating 25 years since the first X5 was assembled at the Spartanburg plant in 1999.

Inside the High-Tech Press Shop

The new press shop is a critical addition to BMW’s production capabilities. It begins the automotive production process by cutting large steel coils into individual “blanks” at a rate of up to 70 strokes per minute. These blanks are then fed into a Press Line consisting of five stamping stations equipped with servo technology, enhancing output performance. The automation technology, known as the “crossbar feeder,” transfers the blanks between stations, allowing the line to produce up to 10,000 parts daily.

After stamping, the parts undergo rigorous quality control inspections before being transported to the body shop production line. Scrap metal from the stamping process, up to 50 tons daily, is collected and recycled, demonstrating BMW’s commitment to sustainability.

BMW reaffirms its commitment to an electric future

By 2030, BMW plans to produce at least six fully electric models in the US The Spartanburg plant will begin assembling its first battery electric vehicle in 2026, supported by a new high-voltage battery assembly plant in Woodruff, SC. This facility, currently under construction, will produce sixth-generation batteries, further cementing BMW’s role in the electric vehicle market.

BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg has been a cornerstone of BMW’s global production network, with over 6.7 million vehicles assembled since its inception. The plant, covering 1,150 acres with an 8-million-square-foot facility, employs more than 11,000 people and includes advanced body shops, paint shops, and assembly halls. The site’s sustainability initiatives include generating 20% of its power from methane gas and utilising hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The $1.7 billion investment announced in 2022 for BMW’s US operations reflects the company’s dedication to innovation and sustainability, preparing the Spartanburg plant for a future driven by electric mobility.