BMW's South Carolina facility leads automotive exports in U.S.

BMW Manufacturing led the U.S. in 2014 automotive exports with $9.2 billion in passenger vehicles shipped through the Port of Charleston in South Carolina, the company confirmed this month.

“Claiming the top spot for U.S. automobile exports rounds out a very successful year for BMW in South Carolina," BMW Manufacturing President and CEO Manfred Erlacher said. "With more than 364,000 units, 2014 was also a record production year for the plant. Our company’s significant contribution to the U.S. balance of trade strengthens our position as the leading manufacturer of premium vehicles for the world.”

These exportation numbers represent an increase of 13 percent from 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Over 260,000 vehicles, or 70 percent of the plant's volume, was exported in 2014.

“South Carolina’s exports continue to grow because we have built a reputation around the world as a great place to do business," Gov. Nikki Haley said.

BMW Manufacturing's current rate of production for passenger vehicles is 1,200 per day. The company has plans to invest $1 billion in the Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant to increase its annual production capacity to 450,000 units, which would make it the largest BMW production facility in the world.

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