After beating Mercedes in the luxury sales race.
If you had to guess which automaker exports the most cars from the United States, you would be safe to assume it is an American automaker like Ford Motor Company, General Motors, or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Well, for the sixth consecutive year, you be wrong with that assumption. BMW is actually the largest exporter of vehicles in the US (by value) and has been for six years now. In 2019 alone, BMW's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina exported nearly 195,000 units of the X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7 with a total value of approximately $9.6 billion.
These SUVs were exported out of the US from the Port of Charleston and five other southeastern ports including Savannah, Brunswick, Jacksonville, Miami, and Everglades. An additional 18,000 of them were exported from the country via rail. Thanks to this tremendous growth in SUV sales, BMW even outsold Mercedes-Benz in the United States, and shows no signs of slowing down.
"Every day, the Plant Spartanburg team produces five top-selling BMW X models, four Motorsport X models and two plug-in hybrid X models sold in more than 125 countries around the world," said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. "In addition to being the largest US automotive exporter by value, our plant continues to be the largest facility in BMW's global production network. These achievements are significant and clearly reinforce BMW's ongoing commitment in the United States."
Spartanburg produced 411,620 BMW X models in 2019 including all-new models like the BMW X3 M and X4 M and third-generation BMW X6. This year, the plant will continue its growth with the launch of the BMW X5 xDrive45e, BMW X3 xDrive30e, BMW X5 M, and BMW X6 M.
"When the first BMW rolled off the assembly line at the Spartanburg facility a little more than 25 years ago, South Carolina's economic landscape began a transformation that would go on to define SC as a true brand state," said Bobby Hitt, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce. "The remarkable partnership between BMW and South Carolina continues to thrive, and this is evident by the fact that our state remains the nation's leader in the export sales of completed passenger vehicles."
Since 2010 alone, 2,285,285 of the 3,335,871 total vehicles produced at Spartanburg have been exported from the US to other markets. This means more than 70 percent of the plant's production was exported, bringing income into the US and creating jobs here in the US. Spartanburg employs 11,000 people to produce 1,500 vehicles each day and later in 2020, will build its five millionth vehicle.