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BMW investing more than $200M to add new press shop at Spartanburg plant

BMW will invest more than $200 million to construct a 219,000-square-foot press shop at its South Carolina plant. The new press shop, which will start production in the summer of 2024, will take raw coils of steel, cut them into blanks, and stamp sheet metal parts for future BMW models. Those components include hang-on parts such as the vehicle’s four doors, fenders, exterior body sides, and lift gate.

The Schuler Group, a globally-recognized company that manufactures automated servo press lines for all BMW Group plants, will also manufacture the automated press line for Plant Spartanburg. All tooling for the press shop will come from BMW tool shops in Eisenach, Munich, and Dingolfing.

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The new press shop at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg will be similar to the one at BMW Plant Leipzig in Germany, pictured here. (Credit - BMW)


The press shop marks the beginning of the automotive production process. Large steel coils arrive at the press shop, where they are unloaded from trucks using 55-ton overhead cranes. The steel coils are then fed into the Blanking Line, where the steel is cut into individual “blanks” (rectangular cutoffs or special shapes). These blanks are then ready to be fed into the Press Line.

Plant Spartanburg’s Press Line will consist of five press (stamping) stations. The line will be equipped with servo technology, which enables BMW to significantly increase the output performance of the presses.

Using an overhead crane, each station is loaded with the correct press tool (die). The blank is fed into the first press station and transferred from one station to the next by a crossbar feeder robot for additional forming and trimming operations.

The press line is capable of running up to 18 strokes per minute. After the parts are stamped, they go to quality control for inspection and are then stacked into racks ready for delivery to the body shop production line.

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Having a press shop onsite is part of BMW’s localization strategy where we produce our major parts at the location where we need them. This ensures the highest quality, efficiency, and consistency in body shop parts for our customers.

—BMW Manufacturing President and CEO Dr. Robert Engelhorn

Since 1992, the BMW Group has invested nearly $12 billion in its South Carolina operations. BMW Manufacturing is the largest BMW Group plant in the world, producing more than 1,500 vehicles each day and 433,810 vehicles in 2021, a record.

The plant exports nearly 60% of its vehicles to about 120 global markets. For eight consecutive years, it has been the largest exporter by value in the United States. The model portfolio includes five top-selling BMW X models, four Motorsport X models, and two plug-in hybrid electric vehicle X models.

The all-new BMW XM, the first electrified high-performance hybrid model in the BMW M portfolio, will begin production in late 2022. The factory has an annual production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany, and is the global producer of the BMW X3, X3 M, X5, X5 M and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles and BMW X4, X4 M, X6 and X6 M Sports Activity Coupes. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW Group North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing, and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; a manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico; and a design firm and technology office in California.

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