BMW Manufacturing has a lot coming down the road as they continue to expand in the Upstate, notably a new stamping facility at the company’s Spartanburg plant.
BMW announced in March 2022 it was building a new on-site metal stamping plant as the company’s largest manufacturing facility continues to grow.
The 219,000-square-foot facility is a $200 million investment that BMW says will employ 200 people in the Upstate. Since the announcement was made, construction has been moving along, with employees having been in training since early this year.
“The steel is going up,” said Steve Wilson, media communications specialist with BMW. “It’s starting to take shape.”
While the framework of the building is coming together, the facility won’t be open until fall 2024. In the meantime, the state-of-the-art facility will have a well-trained workforce waiting for it.
Wilson said production associates are working at facilities in Swindon, U.K., and Leipzig, Germany, that are already set up with the equipment and techniques that will be used at the Spartanburg plant.
“Every BMW Group press shop will pretty much have the same tooling,” he said.
Associates will need advanced-level training for most every job there, according to Wilson. About 50 associates — most of them from South Carolina — have been training in tool and dye, electrical and mechanical maintenance for automated machinery and specialized line operation. Wilson said the training process is extensive and will involve the production associates working abroad until the Spartanburg facility is finished.
The plant will take in giant rolls of steel, trimming them to what are called blanks — rectangular cutoffs or special shapes — that will become the body panels for the vehicles. These blanks will be fed into the press line to stamp into body panels.
As it stands, it will be a change from the current setup with Drive Automotive Industries of America in Piedmont and Gestamp in Union County. Wilson said it was a better strategic move for the plant to have an on-site stamping facility.
“Having a press shop online is part of BMW’s location strategy where we produce our major parts at the location where we need them,” said Robert Engelhorn, BMW Manufacturing President and CEO.
About BMW Manufacturing
- Began production: 1992
- Total investment over 30 years: $12 billion
- Daily production: 1,500 vehicles
- Annual production: 433,000 vehicles
- Vehicles manufactured: Five X models, four Motorsport X models, and two plug-in hybrid X models
- Number of associates: More than 11,000