While traditionally German premium brands have localized much of their production base to their home country, in recent years they moved to expand their export operations to other countries.
One big example of the move – which underpins a considerably larger global approach – is BMW, the largest luxury automaker in the world. With expansion plans to North America including now a second factory in Mexico, the German carmaker is also planning to make its lone US plant its biggest in the world.
“The plant overcame qualms to show the world that good cars could be made at a reasonable cost in the U.S.,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “That led to a renaissance of car making, first in the southern states and then in Detroit itself.”
The automaker moves away from Germany, as the home base is increasingly hard on the profit earnings of the local companies – there are rising energy costs and the labor rules are among the toughest in the world, heavily protecting workers.
The Spartanburg, South Carolina factory is now seeing total investments there rising to $7.3 billion, with the latest of its many expansions scheduled to complete within two years – as the facility reaches a production capacity of 450,000 units annually.
Via Automotive News Europe