BMW Looks To Expand SC Plant, Release 12 New Models

Mar 19, 2014 01:48 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

As its 2014 profits rise, BMW is looking to expand in South Carolina and plans to release 12 new models this year.

The Spartanburg, S.C., plant makes around 350,000 models a year, producing X3, X4, X5 and X6 SUVs, Reuters reported.

Currently finishing a $900 million expansion started in 2012, the local plant should soon have more than 8,000 workers, according to The Greenville News. The site has produced some 2.5 million cars during the last decade.

"We are also considering increasing the plant's capacity," said Friedrich Eichiner, BMW's head of finance, as reported by The Greenville News. "Located in the world's largest premium market, it is a decisive factor in the success of the BMW Group."

The biggest luxury auto manufacturer in the world has also expanded in China, where BMW increased production capacity from 300,000 vehicles to 400,000 last year, according to Reuters.

BMW shipped 1.96 million vehicles in 2013, a record figure that officials hope to top this year.

"We will remain the world's leading premium car company," CEO Norbert Reithofer said Wednesday at a press conference at BMW's headquarters in Munich, as quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek. "We remain very confident about the business year 2014," he said, noting that sales volumes are headed for a "significant increase."

BMW will have to stay on its top game to beat out competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Audi took the top spot in luxury sales for the first two months of this year, delivering 242,400 vehicles through February, topping BMW sales by 383 vehicles, Bloomberg reported. Mercedes-Benz has seen deliveries increase faster than BMW or Audi in the past few months, according to Reuters.

The three German automakers are all fighting to be No. 1 in the segment, a title that BMW has held for nine years in a row. 

Audi plans to launch 17 new or updated vehicles this year, while Mercedes-Benz will roll out around 30 vehicles by the end of the decade, including 10 brand-new models.

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