In 1994, the first South Carolina-produced BMW rolled off the assembly line at the global automaker’s Upstate facility, forever transforming the economy of our state. More than two decades later, South Carolina has evolved into an automotive powerhouse. We lead the nation in the export of completed passenger vehicles; and, with BMW, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Volvo Cars all operating within our borders, we boast an automotive constellation like no other.
Demonstrating the success of this thriving industry was this week’s announcement by Magna International. The auto supplier is investing $29 million to construct its fourth manufacturing plant in South Carolina. Expected to create 480 new jobs in the coming years, this new seat production facility is just one part of the robust automotive supplier network, which continues to spread across South Carolina. In fact, there are more than 40 BMW suppliers operating in the Palmetto State today.
Looking back, it’s clear that the arrival of BMW and the establishment of the automotive industry were a milestone for South Carolina. And, as we move forward, the continued success of this sector will fuel economic growth and prosperity in all corners of this state.
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