BMW Largest US Automotive Exporter for 7th Consecutive Year

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on BMW Is Largest US Automotive Exporter

Two clear trends – SUV mania and electrification.

BMW Manufacturing led the nation in automotive exports by value for the seventh consecutive year, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. BMW Manufacturing exported 218,820 Sports Activity Vehicles and Coupes during 2020 with an export value of more than $8.9 billion. The BMWs produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina, were exported through the Port of Charleston, SC (more than 189,000 units), and through five other southeastern ports: Savannah, GA; Brunswick, GA; Jacksonville, FL; Miami, FL; and Everglades, FL. More than 13,000 BMWs were also exported via rail. The top five export countries from BMW Manufacturing were China (23.3% of export volume), Germany (12.9%), South Korea (7.8%), Canada (6%), and Russia (5.3%). (AutoInformed on BMW Manufacturing Largest US Auto Exporter Again, Largest US Auto Exporter – BMW Manufacturing, China – Future Export Base for Global Markets?)

Spartanburg experienced a production interruption due to the coronavirus pandemic. After a five-week non-production period, associates returned for one shift on May 4. With new health guidelines and procedures in place, production slowly ramped up as the supply chain stabilized and customers returned in the summer. During the last six months of the year, Plant Spartanburg produced nearly 218,000 BMWs, a record for any six-month period in the factory’s history.  The plant produced 361,365 vehicles for the entire year 2020.

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Electric Vehicle Sales The plug-in hybrid electric variants of the plant’s two most popular vehicles set production records in 2020. The BMW X3 xDrive30e (22,964 units) and the BMW X5 xDrive45e (24,248 units) achieved all-time highs, in part, because of a 2019 expansion of the battery assembly hall, BMW said. These 47,212 electrified BMWs made up 13% of the plant’s total production last year. BMW has assembled batteries for electrified vehicles since 2015, making BMW Group among the leaders of electro-mobility in the United States.

BMW Manufacturing currently produces about 1,500 vehicles each day, exporting more than two-thirds of its models to 125 global markets. The model portfolio includes five top-selling BMW X models, four Motorsport X models and two plug-in hybrid electric X models. The factory has a production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany, and is the global producer of the BMW X3, X3 M, X5, X5 M and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles and X4, X4 M, X6 and X6 M Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 349 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 117 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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