BMW on Friday officially announced that its new X7 SUV model will be built at its Greer plant.
The company said the $1 billion expansion is expected to create 800 new jobs. The addition of a fifth model assembled at the plant will increase production capacity from 350,000 units to 450,000 units annually, making the Spartanburg County facility the highest-capacity plant in BMW’s global system by the end of 2016.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Gov. Nikki Haley joined BMW Group Board of Management for Friday’s announcement.
“We love Germany, but South Carolina is now the BMW capital of the world,” Haley said after the event. “And that is a title we will hold proudly.”
The Greer plant is the corporation’s sole North American assembly plant and already assembles the similar X3, X5, and X6 models. Work on the X4, which was unveiled for the first time on Friday, gets underway later this year.
Unlike the previous models, the X7 Sports Activity Vehicle will have a third row of seats.
Chairman of BMW’s Board of Management Dr.-Ing Norbert Reithofer said over 207,000 vehicles were manufactured in Greer last year — or about 1,100 per day.
The assembly plant is in its 20th year of operation.