German automaker BMW AG was the leading exporter as measured by total value in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year with more than $8.4 billion in vehicles, the company announced.
BMW exported 234,689 X-series sport utility vehicles and coupes from its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant in 2018. About 81% of the vehicles left through the Port of Charleston.
Two out of every three BMW X-series vehicles produced at the plant were exported (66%). The plant's workers built 356,749 vehicles in 2018.
"Despite last year's model changeovers and the ongoing uncertainty regarding trade and tariffs, Plant Spartanburg is still positively contributing to the U.S. balance of trade," said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. "This achievement clearly reinforces BMW's ongoing commitment in the U.S. With additional models such as the first-ever BMW X7, the BMW X3 M and X4 M, and the recently-announced BMW X3 and X5 plug-in hybrid vehicles, we anticipate an increase in production and exports for 2019."
President Donald Trump had threatened to impose tariffs on oversees automakers of up to 25%. The tariffs have yet to be implemented.
In 2017, BMW announced an additional $600 million investment in the Spartanburg plant from 2018 through 2021 for manufacturing infrastructure.