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SPARTANBURG, SC-BMW Group is planning a $750-million expansion of its factory, a project which will add 1.5 million sf to the facility. The three-year construction project will include a new 1.2-million-sf assembly facility north of the existing factory to accommodate the next generation BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle.

The company also plans to expand the existing paint shop by 300,000 sf and renovate the existing body shops. The project is expected to be completed in 2012.

With the expansion, the company will be able to increase production capacity from 160,000 to 240,000 units. After the expansion, the plant will manufacture the BMW X3, X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 Sports Activity Coupe and variants of those models for world markets. To meet growing customer demand, vehicle production at BMW Manufacturing has grown from 429 units in 1994, the first year of production, to 157,530 units in 2007.

“The boost in production capacity at BMW Manufacturing will positively impact the logistics, supplier and distribution networks that support the manufacturing processes,” says president Josef Kerscher, in a released statement. “While the supplier network may grow, existing supplier companies will ramp up operations to provide automotive parts for the higher production levels, doubling parts container traffic and significantly increasing exports through the Port of Charleston.”

The investment is the largest ever announced for the factory, increasing investments in the operations to $4.2 billion.

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