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BMW to Expand South Carolina SUV Production 

Worker polishes the logo of a finished car at the South Carolina plant — photo: dpa

Washington (MunichNOW News / dpa) - BMW said Friday it will expand its assembly plant in the US state of South Carolina, making it the largest of the German car maker’s production sites in the world by 2016.

BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker were in South Carolina for the announcement.

Demand for SUVs in the US has prompted the expansion.

Production capacity at the Spartanburg plant will increase to 450,000 units annually, about 50 per cent more than its current capacity, the company said.

The expansion will mean the addition of 800 jobs, bringing the total number of employees to 8,800.

Last year, the BMW plant in the Bavarian town of Dingolfing, northeast of the company’s corporate headquarters in Munich, was the company’s largest assembly plant. It produced 343,000 cars, while in Spartenburg about 297,000 cars rolled off the line.

There are 28 BMW production plants worldwide.

BMW assembles nearly all its SUV models - the X3, X5 and X6, and the X4, an SUV cross-over - for the world market in Spartanburg.

The next model in BMWs family of SUVs, the X7, is already on the horizon. The X7 is a larger model expected to have a third row of seats, according to industry analysts.

Production of the X7 isn’t expected to begin before 2018.

The sprawling plant in South Carolina will increase to 450,000 cars annually — photo: dpa

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