MUNICH, GERMANY - BMW will spend $750 million to expand its South Carolina production facility and create
500 new jobs, doubling the size of its U.S. manufacturing operations. The
German automaker will add 1.2 million square feet of production space, and
construction of new paint shop facilities already has begun, according to the Web site www.newsweek.com.
The company will add a new generation of its X3 SUV to the
site, making the plant the exclusive source for the X3 and X5 SUV as well as the X6 sports coupe unveiled
earlier this year at the Detroit auto show. The X line of vehicles are four-wheel drive. The announcement comes
about two weeks after BMW said it plans to cut 5,000 jobs in Germany and 600 elsewhere, or 7.5
percent of its work force over two years.
As the expansion is completed during the next four years,
production will increase to 240,000 vehicles yearly from 155,000. BMW said the
state was spending about $15 million on site preparation and the automaker may
yet seek job development tax credits.