BMW To Announce Second North American Factory Before Summer Break

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Still mulling over where to build a second North American factory, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer stated his company would have an answer before the automaker goes on summer break.

Automotive News Europe reports the automaker is considering countries who have signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, including Canada, United States and Mexico, for a factory where it may build the 3 and 1 series, as well as MINIs.

BMW is doing this in order to properly battle Teutonic competitors Audi and Mercedes, both of whom have or will have factories in place to meet demand, as well as better handle currency challenges by producing popular vehicles in the same market they are bought. All three are also battling it out on record deliveries for 2014, with China and the U.S. as the battleground.

Meanwhile, BMW is spending $1 billion to expand its Spartanburg, S.C. plant to 50 percent increased production capacity by 2016, when the full-size X7 will be among the 450,000 X Series SUVs to leave the line annually. The outgoing record holder in Dingolfing, Germany produced 342,000 3, 5, 6 and 7 series models in 2013.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Jun 26, 2014

    Seems like the transplants have a formula for success that requires: Cheap and abundant land, A labor pool where the perspective is that a factory job is an opportunity, access to transportation infrastructure, proximity to suppliers, access to universities who are willing to participate in the engineering and business opportunities. So, i think we can rule out the Northeast and California because of expensive land. Florida is a bit too far from suppliers. Michigan labor is too expensive. The rest of the Midwest is too far from ports for shipping these things abroad. Sounds like another win in the works for Dixie, somewhere between Mississippi and South Carolina. I don't think the South will "rise again" as it appears to have risen.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Jun 26, 2014

    BMW has been leaning towards Mexico for a while. Not just in North America, but the world. Nothing else comes close.

  • VoGo VoGo on Jun 26, 2014

    It's a sad commentary about the state of American pay levels that an automaker looking to cut costs decides to build a factory here.

    • See 2 previous
    • Onyxtape Onyxtape on Jun 26, 2014

      No, it's a testament to the advancement of automation that low-waged, relatively-uneducated individuals can be brought in to assemble complex machinery. It's truly the #1 job killer - not the usual suspects that you hear about on the cable news shows.

  • DrGastro997 DrGastro997 on Jun 26, 2014

    I understand the necessities to move and localize production, but look at the quality levels of VW, MB, Toyota, BMW, Honda, and so on. They all took a huge plunge with very slow improvement. The suppliers, often required to relocate to the US, then are under tremendous pressure to cut cost and provide massive milk runs to avoid any downtime by any means. Who really benefits? Where are the merits?

    • Jmo Jmo on Jun 26, 2014

      Currency risk is a huge issue. You build a marketing and product plan around 1USD:0.8EUR or 1USD:120JPY and it changes then your plan is fracked.