BMW just hit a big ol’ milestone down south. The decidedly German company has produced its six millionth vehicle in the U.S. since it opened its Greer, South Carolina factory in 1994.
The historic, six millionth vehicle is an aggressively green BMW X6 M, but it won’t be heading to a customer. Instead, it’ll remain at the factory and become the latest member of BMW’s historic collection.
It’s only been a little bit over two years since the plant, which has a capacity of about 450,000 vehicles per year and employs 11,000 people, produced its five millionth vehicle. The reason for this extremely quick jump of another million vehicles produced? BMW says the second-half of 2020 was record-setting for them, and so was 2021 when the company processed 433,810 cars in South Carolina. That pace, they say, continued into the first half of 2022.
South Carolina is also where my personal 2007 BMW Z4 was built, so I have a deep love and admiration for those who work there, even if the car is a shitpile all these years later. I can’t really blame the builders.
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In the 28 years it’s been open, BMW has invested nearly $12 billion at the plant, and says it exports nearly 60 percent of the cars it builds there to 120 markets around the world. That number actually makes BMW the largest automotive explorer by value in the United States for eight consecutive years.
Here are the milestone cars the X6 M joins:
- 1 millionth – February 28, 2006 – Z4 M Roadster
- 2 millionth – January 12, 2012 – BMW X3 xDrive35i
- 3 millionth – March 24, 2015 – BMW X5 M
- 4 millionth – September 8, 2017 – BMW X3 xDrive M40i
- 5 millionth – June 4, 2020 – BMW X5 M Competition
- 6 millionth – September 2, 2022 – BMW X6 M
Those numbers really put in perspective how much BMW has increased output at this plant. It took the company 12 years to produce a million vehicles, then only 6 years to produce another 1 million. After that it’s been between two and three years for every million vehicles. Pretty impressive. Look out for a follow up article in November of 2024 when Spartanburg produces its 7 millionth vehicle.
BMW produces five “X” SUV models in South Carolina – and four “X” M cars as well. The latest addition to the South Carolina portfolio is the newly introduced BMW XM, which is set to go into production later this year.