BMW announces senior management changes


Spartanburg County-based BMW Manufacturing Co. announced five senior management appointments on Tuesday, Sept. 5.


The automaker said Sherry McCraw was been name vice president of assembly at the plant near Greer. She replaces Dirk Hilgenberg, who plans to return to Germany-based BMW’s Munich plant to serve as head of production system, technical planning, tool shop, and plant construction.

McCraw, who was one of the first associates hired for the local plant in 1993, has worked in several areas of assembly production, planning, engineering, and technology, the company said.

Since 2013, she has served as vice president of finance and compliance.

Stefan Diregger, a 20-year employee of BMW Group, will assume McCraw’s former role.


Diregger most recently served as the general manager of plant finance for BMW’s Rosslyn plant in South Africa. He has also served as the general manager for logistics and powertrain, and the manager of financial controlling/industrial engineering for the company.

Andreas Guecker, who has served as vice president of total vehicle, quality management, and plant projects since 2014, will step into a new role as vice president of integration product projects at BMW Manufacturing Co.

Guecker has been an employee of the BMW Group since 1999 and has worked in various roles related to quality, testing, verification, and planning.

Siegfried Mueller will move into Guecker’s role as vice president of total vehicle, quality management, and plant projects.


Mueller has worked for BMW Group for more than 20 years. He has experience in the development and launch of several vehicles, including the X1, X5, X5 plug-in hybrid, and X6. He has served in quality management at the national and international level.

Most recently, Mueller was vice president of BMW’s manufacturing concept luxury class in Munich.

Murat Aksel, a former executive with Adam Opel AG and GM-FIAT, has been named vice president of BMW’s purchasing and supplier network in the Americas.

Aksel joined the company in 2009 as head of purchasing and supplier network for body and exterior parts. He most recently served as the head of process chain chassis and driving dynamics.


Aksel replaces Franz Linner, who has been appointed vice president of supplier support NAFTA for the BMW Group.

BMW Manufacturing Co., opened in 1994, is the production hub of BMW’s light trucks division, including the X3, X4, X5, and X6 Sports Activity Vehicles, as well as the soon-to-be-released full-size X7 model.

Today, the plant represents a nearly $8 billion investment, encompassing more than 5 million square feet, with total production nearing 4 million vehicles.

An additional $600 million investment in the plant announced by BMW in June will bring the facility’s employment to about 10,000 associates by 2022.


BMW Manufacturing Co. remained the nation’s largest automotive exporter in 2016.

It shipped 287,700 vehicles, or about 70 percent of the 411,000 vehicles it produced during the previous year, to 140 markets worldwide. Nearly 86 percent of those vehicles were exported via the Port of Charleston.

The plant’s exports were valued at $9.53 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, confirming it as the country’s leading car exporter in terms of value for a third consecutive year.




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