Manufacturing

BMW repeats as largest U.S. automotive exporter by volume

BMW exports its X models via ship at numerous ports throughout the southeastern U.S.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW is technically a German automaker, but much of its lineup is made in the U.S. The company has once again been named the largest U.S. automotive exporter by volume

BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is the home to most BMW SUVs. In 2019, Plant Spartanburg exported 246,014 BMW X Models with a total export value of approximately $9.6 billion according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Most of the SUVs all left the country via ports in Savannah, Georgia; Brunswick, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Miami, Florida; and Everglades, Florida. Additionally, 18,000 were exported via rail.

BMW X3 M40i The BMW X3 M40i is just one of the models the automaker produces I South Carolina.Photo courtesy of BMW

"Every day, the Plant Spartanburg team produces five top-selling BMW X models, four Motorsport X models and two plug-in hybrid X models sold in more than 125 countries around the world," said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. "In addition to being the largest U.S. automotive exporter by value, our plant continues to be the largest facility in BMW's global production network. These achievements are significant and clearly reinforce BMW's ongoing commitment in the United States."

In 2019, BMW Manufacturing produced a record 411,620 BMW X Models. They also launched a number of SUVs including:

  • (April) Launch of the first-ever BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M
  • (August) Launch of the third-generation BMW X6
  • (August) Launch of BMW X5 xDrive45e (second generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)
  • (December) Launch of first-ever BMW X3 xDrive30e (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)
  • (December) Launch of the third-generation BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M
  • First full production year for the first-ever BMW X7.

"For more than 25 years, S.C. Ports Authority has had a strong partnership with BMW Manufacturing," said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of S.C. Ports Authority. "Our Inland Port Greer operation brings vehicles from the Upstate to the Lowcountry via rail, and the Port of Charleston enables BMW to export 70% of its South Carolina-made vehicles to more than 125 countries. The automotive manufacturing sector is a vital part of our state's economy. We are proud to support the shipping needs of the automotive industry, and we look forward to future success and growth for BMW."

From 2010 – 2019, BMW Group Plant Spartanburg exported 2,285,285 vehicles out of 3,335,871 total vehicles produced. This means nearly 70 percent of the plant's total production was exported during the decade. Later in 2020, the plant will celebrate a significant production milestone as it produces the five millionth BMW built in South Carolina.

BMW Group Plant Spartanburg produces more than 1,500 vehicles each day and has an annual capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles. The factory employs more than 11,000 people.

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The new Grand Cherokee L is on its way to dealers now.

Stellantis

The all-new three-row Grand Cherokee L was unveiled earlier this year, and features an ultra-premium interior, a load of new tech, and sharp styling that shouts back to Jeep models of the past. Just a few weeks ago, we learned pricing and feature details for the new model, and now Jeep says the vehicle is on its way to dealerships across the country.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L is the first three-row Grand Cherokee.Stellantis


In terms of styling, the L's shape has been reworked from previous Grand Cherokee models to be more reminiscent of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The automaker says that the grille has been tilted forward and is now wider for better air flow and a more dramatic appearance. The idea was to make the Grand Cherokee L look rugged, but keep it sleek and technical in the process.

The stretched Grand Cherokee retains the engines that powered its predecessors. That means a 3.6-liter V6 is standard, which delivers 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter V6 is optional, and makes 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or al-wheel drive. Either powertrain option will provide decent towing capability, but the V8 is unsurprisingly more powerful. With a V6 on board, the Grand Cherokee L can tow 6,200 pounds, while V8-powered models can pull 7,200 pounds.


Jeep Grand Cherokee L The L's styling is modern but nostalgic.Stellantis


Inside, Jeep says the L can be equipped with the latest tech and entertainment features. Running the latest Uconnect infotainment software, the Grand Cherokee L will be capable of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can be had with a head-up display, a rear-seat monitoring camera system, and a 950-watt 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. At the top end of the lineup, the Summit Reserve model gets Palermo quilted leather, open-pore waxed walnut wood, and 21-inch wheels.

Pricing for the L starts at $38,690 after destination, which buys the base Laredo trim. The range-topping Summit Reserve model starts at $61,690 after destination. Dealer deliveries are underway now, supported by almost 5,000 employees at Stellantis' Detroit Assembly Complex.

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European sports sedan

Grab this 2000 BMW M5 before someone else does

Classic good looks and a rowdy V8 are the story here.

Bring a Trailer

We could spend all day bemoaning the rise of car auction sites and their impact on prices, but that won't do any good. The damage has been done. Of course, there are exceptions to the sky-high pricing we typically see on auction sites, and some cars are worth the money. This 2000 BMW M5 is one of them, and its current auction bid of just $15,250 makes us think it could go for a decent price.

The E39 M5 is one of the most legendary and sought-aftersports sedans of all time. Its 4.9-liter V8 produced 394 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque when it was new, which isn't all that crazy by today's standards, but an almost 400-horsepower family car was a big deal at the time. That magical engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive – an enthusiast's dream recipe.


2000 BMW M5 This car is in great shape for its age.Bring a Trailer


Inside, this car's tan leather upholstery looks great, and matches well with its black exterior. The seller has kept mods to a minimum, with just a set of aftermarket headlights on the list of changes. The car's original navigation system and head unit appear to be in place and the entire package is so well preserved it's amazing that the car hasn't drawn more interest so far.

Where this M5 will end up is anybody's guess. These cars are particularly difficult to find in any condition that could be called drivable, so this car's relatively low $15,000 current bid amount is surprising. Commentors on this auction are just as surprised as we are, and are asking where the love has gone for this M5. Of course, someone could swoop in at the last moment and start a bidding war, and with a full day left on the clock there's plenty of time for some action.


2000 BMW M5 The tan leather is nearly perfect.Bring a Trailer

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