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Homecoming: BMW Plant Spartanburg making final preparations to begin production of all-new BMW X5.

As Americans enjoy the holiday week and prepare for their summer adventures, preparations of a different kind are nearing completion at BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina: the final phases of gearing up for production of the all-new BMW X5, which begins later this summer.


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BMW Group

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  • Nearly 20 years of market leadership and the heart of the BMW lineup.
  • Fourth-generation BMW X5 nears production start at Spartanburg, the global center of competence for BMW X family.
  • The BMW X5 accounts for more than half of the 4.4 million vehicles produced at Spartanburg since plant opened in 1994.


Woodcliff Lake, NJ – July 6, 2018… As Americans enjoy the holiday week and prepare for their summer adventures, preparations of a different kind are nearing completion at BMW Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina: the final phases of gearing up for production of the all-new BMW X5, which begins later this summer.


Four generations of leadership.

As the fourth generation of BMW X5, the all-new model joins a proud lineage and history of leadership. When it was introduced nearly 20 years ago, the original BMW X5 launched not only the BMW X model family, but launched the Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) segment for the industry. Since then, the BMW X5 has firmly established itself as one of the pillars of the BMW model line, selling more than 2.2 million examples world-wide across the first three model generations. In the US, the BMW X5 has ranked in the top three best-selling BMW models every year since 2001. This tremendous success has come with several expansions of BMW Plant Spartanburg – now the largest BMW plant in the world.


From South Carolina, BMW X models for the US and the world.

The all-new BMW X5 will be the tenth X model to be produced at Plant Spartanburg since it began operations in 1994. As the BMW global center of competence for X models, Plant Spartanburg has already been busy in 2018; the all-new BMW X5 was preceded by the launch of the all-new BMW X4 in April. Plant Spartanburg also builds the BMW X3 and X6. With these all-new models and tremendous demand for BMW X models around the world, production in Spartanburg will further grow in the next years and is planned to ramp-up to fully utilize the yearly capacity of 450,000 units.


BMW’s manufacturing plant in South Carolina is the single largest exporter of automobiles by value in the United States. Since the introduction of the original BMW X5, two of every three vehicles produced were exported for sale to customers outside the US. When considering the Spartanburg-built X3, X4, X5, and X6 together, more than 70 percent of the annual production is shipped to export markets.


Plant Spartanburg.

The size of the workforce has also grown substantially at Plant Spartanburg, from an initial 500 people in 1994 to more than 10,000 people today – with another 1000 expected to join by 2021. A 2017 study by the University of South Carolina finds that for every 10 jobs that are directly generated at a U.S. BMW facility, an additional 90 jobs are created elsewhere in the U.S. economy as a direct result of these BMW jobs.


BMW U.S. purchasing of parts and materials for production at our U.S. plant totaled nearly $6 Billion (USD) in 2017 from more than 300 U.S. supplier companies.


Training at the plant employs a dual apprenticeship training system that combines classroom learning with practical experience. In the past ten years, the BMW Group has invested more than 220 million US dollars in vocational and continued training at its Spartanburg facility, with another 200 million US dollars planned over the next five years. The training programs are run in cooperation with local colleges.



Timeline of the BMW X5, Built in Spartanburg, South Carolina.


September 2017

Plant Spartanburg produces its four-millionth vehicle overall

August 2013

Production of the third-generation BMW X5 begins

June 2010

The one-millionth BMW X5 is produced in Spartanburg.

November 2006

World Premiere of all-new second Generation BMW X5 at Los Angeles International Auto Show

September 2006

Production of the second-generation BMW X5 begins

June 2005

The 500,000th BMW X5 is produced

July 2002

Plant Spartanburg overall production reaches 500,000 vehicles

August 2001

The 100,000th BMW X5 is produced

September 1999

Production of the first-ever BMW X5 begins. First vehicle was a 4.4- liter, eight-cylinder X5 with Pearl Beige exterior.

January 1999

World premiere first-ever BMW X5 at NAIAS in Detroit

September 1994

The first American-made BMW, a 318i, comes off the assembly line at Plant Spartanburg

September 1992

Groundbreaking ceremony for future BMW Plant Spartanburg

June 1992

BMW Group announces plans to build its first manufacturing facility outside of Germany, in Spartanburg County, South Carolina



What they said then: historical quotes.


“The success of the X5 is directly attributable to the designers of the vehicle, our parts suppliers and the many dedicated and hard working associates who continue to come together and create such a special vehicle.”– Mr. Josef Kerscher, then-President of BMW Manufacturing, June 8, 2010


“This is a day of great pride for all South Carolinians and the BMW family. It is a testament to the quality of the SC workforce, the supply chain, and to BMW, one of the greatest automobile manufacturers in the world. Now, one million X5s later, BMW is one of the great business success stories in the history of South Carolina. This milestone gives us hope for the future and is a positive sign that through world-class manufacturing our state will prosper will in the years ahead.”

– US Senator Lindsey Graham, June 8, 2010


“We created the X5 to give customers the best of both worlds. With the X5, BMW has given birth to a new category, the Sports Activity Vehicle.  The X5 combines legendary BMW performance, styling, luxury and technology with the roominess and versatility of a traditional SUV.  Above all, the X5 is nimble and quick, a joy to drive.  A true BMW.” 

- Tom Purves, then-BMW USA Chairman and CEO, September 23, 1999


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BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 346 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 127 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

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