The Spartanburg plant has set itself apart from other car manufacturing plants. Since its inception, it has positively affected South Carolina by spurring economic development. Both the plant and BMW have grown bigger and better than anyone expected.
Today, BMW employs over 11,000 people who represent areas all across South Carolina. The Spartanburg plant itself has created an annual economic impact in the United States of over $43 billion and produces over 1,500 vehicles each day. Not only has BMW changed the way the world sees South Carolina, it has also changed how the state approaches economic development.
A 2017 report from the Darla Moore School of Business determined that BMW provides a statewide employment multiplier of 4. Meaning, for every job created at the plant, another three jobs are created in the state. This helps drive South Carolina’s ability to be a part of the global marketplace.
In addition to jobs, the state gains clear benefits through tax revenue, sustainability initiatives, and BMW’s commitment to community programs. Between 1996 and 2014 the company gave $36 million to educational, cultural, and civic programs in the Upstate.
BMW leads initiatives that have an impact on everything from local tourism to education. Through its nonprofit foundation, the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament fundraises millions of dollars for charities, generates tourism, and supports 140 jobs. The company’s environmental stewardship has led to a wide range of initiatives from increasing green energy use to reducing waste. Through Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, the country’s only graduate department of automotive engineering, education has received a boost. In addition, the BMW Scholars program was launched in 2011 to provide hands-on training, paid employment, and tuition assistance to students pursuing associate degrees at four technical colleges.
Looking ahead, The BMW Group will invest in changing technology and understanding new market demands. It will continue to expand the Spartanburg plant through production of a new generation of X model sport utility vehicles, including two hybrid electric vehicles. In addition, the company will add 1,000 new jobs through 2021, further empowering the state of South Carolina.