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Local officials silent on potential BMW plant

By Ashley Boncimino
Published Dec. 12, 2013

The S.C. Department of Commerce and BMW Manufacturing Co. representatives in Spartanburg County are keeping mum on leaked news that the world’s biggest luxury carmaker is considering its first engine plant in North America.

Previous coverage

Sales of S.C.-made BMW light trucks fall 8.3%

BMW hiring for production and logistics jobs at Greer plant

BMW U.S. sales up slightly despite weakness in light trucks

BMW X5 a top sales leader in September

Bloomberg News, quoting three unnamed sources, reported Wednesday that the Munich-based company was weighing the possibility of a motor factory in Mexico or the United States, saying the decision could be made in 2014. The company’s only U.S. manufacturing facility is the vehicle-assembly plant in Spartanburg County.

“The truth is, we don’t know,” said Sky Foster, manager of corporate communications at BMW’s Spartanburg County plant.

Decisions of that level are discussed and made at the company’s headquarters in Munich, said Foster’s colleague BMW Manufacturing spokesman Steve Wilson.

The S.C. Department of Commerce also refused comment.

“The Department of Commerce does not comment on any prospective business,” said spokeswoman Allison Skipper on Wednesday.

Bloomberg quoted Mathias Schmidt, a BMW spokesman in Munich, Germany, as saying, “As part of our long-term growth strategy, we’re frequently looking at different countries for possible locations of future production facilities … No decisions have been made yet, though, for an additional plant.”

BMW’s only North American factory was established in 1994 in Spartanburg County, where the automaker has produced more than 2 million vehicles. BMW is in the middle of a two-year, $900 million expansion that will add the X4 model to the facility’s repertoire, and it will complete construction on an additional 1.6 million square feet of production and logistic space. The company said it plans to employ around 8,000 people at the plant by the end of 2014, according to a news release.

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