BMW Manufacturing has led the country in automotive exports by value for the seventh year in a row, the carmaker announced Thursday, Feb. 11, citing data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
BMW exported almost 219,000 sports activity vehicles and coupes in 2020, which totaled more than $8.9 billion in export value, according to a press release. The company’s Spartanburg County plant produced more than 189,000 units that were then exported out of the Port of Charleston.
“South Carolina’s long, successful partnership with BMW proves that the growth potential in South Carolina is limitless,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. “As BMW celebrates leading the nation in automotive exports by value for the seventh straight year, we know that with our pro-business climate and elite workforce they have only scratched the surface of what they can achieve in South Carolina.”
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The other Southeastern ports included Savannah, Georgia; Brunswick, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Miami, Florida; and Everglades, Florida.
“Claiming the top spot once again for U.S. automotive exports is a direct result of the commitment and dedication of the Plant Spartanburg team during the challenging 2020 production year,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “BMW is proud to contribute to the U.S. balance of trade as we continue to be the leading manufacturer of premium vehicles for the world.”
The announcement comes after the carmaker had to halt production at Plant Spartanburg due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility ended the year producing a total of 361,325 vehicles, according to the company. That included 218,000 BMWs made in the last six months of the year — the plant’s record number of vehicles produced in any six-month period.
“When BMW announced more than 28 years ago the decision to locate the company’s first North American manufacturing operations in South Carolina, it was a true game-changer for the Palmetto State,” said S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “The fact that our state remains the leader in the export sales of completed passenger vehicles, particularly during a challenging year, is a reflection of the incredible commitment and partnership between BMW and South Carolina.”