“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the three millionth BMW produced in South Carolina!”
With those words, a grey metallic X5 Sports Activity Vehicle drove off the factory floor at the German automaker’s Greer plant as onlookers watched in a Tuesday ceremony. BMW is celebrating the milestone, as the company enters its 21st year in the South Carolina Upstate.
“The growth of this plant has been quite extraordinary,” said BMW Manufacturing President and CEO Manfred Erlacher. ”Today, as we witness another historic moment, I am delighted to announce that BMW’s profound impact in South Carolina continues.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed that BMW is the largest US exporter of passenger vehicles by value. Nearly 250,000 vehicles were exported from the South Carolina plant to locations overseas, according to the company. South Carolina officials have spent millions improving state infrastructure to benefit the state-owned port’s largest customer, including building an Inland Port rail terminal that opened near the plant in 2013.
The Greer plant manufactures BMW’s X series SUVs and “Sports Activity” crossovers, including the X3, X4, X5, X6. The company says the site produced nearly 350,000 vehicles last year.
Several dignitaries were in attendance, including Gov. Nikki Haley, Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, and State Ports Authority President & CEO Jim Newsome.
BMW said the three-millionth X5 paraded before media outlets and guests on Tuesday will eventually be delivered to a customer in Sweden.
Jenna Kochenauer of Greenville affiliate WORD News contributed to this report