BMW: $1B investment, 450K cars planned in Spartanburg - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

BMW: $1B investment, 450K cars planned in Spartanburg

BMW officials announced its plans to invest $1 billion in the next two years (March 28, 2014/FOX Carolina) BMW officials announced its plans to invest $1 billion in the next two years (March 28, 2014/FOX Carolina)
A BMW X4 was on display during the announcement. (March 28, 2014/FOX Carolina) A BMW X4 was on display during the announcement. (March 28, 2014/FOX Carolina)
GREER, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

Officials with BMW, the Department of Commerce and Gov. Nikki Haley were in the Upstate Friday to make a major economic and product announcement.

The German automaker announced it plans to invest $1 billion in the next two years to increase production capacity to 450,000 cars a year. The president also announced plans to make a new, larger SUV - the X7.

The company exports 70 percent of the manufacture vehicle to 140 nations and said are looking forward to the expansion, especially with the prime proximity of the new Inland Port in Greer.

The expansion will produce 150,000 additional cars, equal to a whole new plant. They said Spartanburg will become the largest plant in BMW's global production network.

The expansion will also create 800 new jobs at Plant Spartanburg and by the end of 2016, the company plans to have 8,800 associates working at the facility.

In attendance at the announcement were BMW Group Chairman Dr. Norbert Reithofer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, BMW Group Board Member Harald Krueger (head of the global production network) and Manfred Erlacher, president of BMW Manufacturing.

Workers have made more than 2 million vehicles since the plant opened 20 years ago, employing 7,000 workers at the Greer plant and an estimated 16,000 additional workers at the 50 or so plants that provide parts to automaker.

The event took place in the North Assembly Hall where the X3 and X4 are assembled. Stay with foxcarolina.com for coverage of the announcement.

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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