US BMW manufacturing CEO Dr Robert Engelhorn announced that the company would invest more than $200m to build a 219,000 sq. ft press shop at its South Carolina plant.
The new press shop, which will begin production in the summer of 2024, and components produced will include hang-on features such as doors, fenders, exterior body sides and lift gate.
“The BMW Group is known worldwide for the outstanding quality produced by its press shops. We are excited to add this new technology to Plant Spartanburg,” said Dr Engelhorn.
BMW says this new press shop requires manufacturing jobs with advanced-level training. These jobs include tool and die technicians, electrical and mechanical maintenance for automated machinery, and specialised line operators. The OEM notes that more than 45 associates from Spartanburg are currently training at BMW Group press shops in Leipzig, Germany, and Swindon, England. These associates also train with partners from the Schuler Group, a company that manufactures automated servo press lines for all BMW Group plants.
Putting a press shop onsite comes as part of BMW’s localisation strategy, producing significant parts at the location where required and most easily sourced.
Since 1992, BMW Group has injected $12 billion in its South Carolina operations at Spartanburg, the largest BMW Group plant in the world. The plant produces over 1,500 vehicles daily and, in 2021, produced a record 433,810 units.
The plant employs more than 11,000 people and produces five high-end BMW X models, four Motorsport models and two plug-in hybrid vehicle X models. Production of the new hybrid BMW XM will start later this year.