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Columbia Business Monthly

BMW Manufacturing Sets Production Record in 2021

Jan 18, 2022 03:09PM ● By David Dykes

Photo:  A BMW X5 leaves the Final Finish Assembly line. (Credit – BMW/Fred Rollison)

BMW Manufacturing’s Plant Spartanburg set a production record during 2021, producing 433,810 BMW X vehicles during the year, company officials announced.

That was a 20 percent increase over a year earlier and breaks the previous record of 411,620 units set in 2019.

Additionally, the plant produced a record number of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) last year with about 70,000 units shipped.  

“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.”

The 2021 production year marked the fourth time the South Carolina plant has topped 400,000 units. This milestone was also achieved in 2015 (400,904 units), 2016 (411,171), and 2019 (411,620).

A breakdown of 2021 production by model:

•  BMW X3:   113,831       BMW X3 M:  4,418

•  BMW X4:     52,935       BMW X4 M:  2,555

•  BMW X5:   165,704       BMW X5 M:  4,976

•  BMW X6:     35,421       BMW X6 M:  3,184

•  BMW X7:     50,724

BMW officials said Plant Spartanburg saw a 48 percent increase in the number of electrified vehicles produced last year, as about 70,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were shipped to customers around the world.

The number of X5 xDrive45e vehicles produced totaled 39,883, while over 30,000 X3 xDrive30e vehicles were built in 2021.

“Electric mobility is becoming a growth driver and success factor for the company,” Engelhorn said. “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.”

BMW Manufacturing contributed significantly to the company’s U.S. sales success during 2021, company officials said.

Last year, 179,840 Plant Spartanburg vehicles were sold in the United States, making up 53.4 percent of all BMW brand U.S. sales. The top two BMW models sold in America were the BMW X3 and BMW X5.

Since 1992, the BMW Group has invested about $11.9 billion in its South Carolina factory.

BMW Manufacturing is the largest BMW Group plant in the world, producing more than 1,500 vehicles each day. The plant exports more than two-thirds of its vehicles to about 125 global markets.

For seven consecutive years, it has been the largest exporter by value in the United States.

The model portfolio includes five top-selling BMW X models, four Motorsport X models, and two plug-in hybrid electric vehicle X models. The factory has a production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany, and is the global producer of the BMW X3, X3 M, X5, X5 M and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles and BMW X4, X4 M, X6 and X6 M Sports Activity Coupes.

In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW Group North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing, and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; a manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico; and a design firm and technology office in California.