That distinction does come with a bit of a clarification. BMW is the top exporter of automobiles to non-NAFTA, or North American Free Trade Agreement, countries, or as we normal folks like to call them: Mexico and Canada. BMW shipped $4.42 billion in vehicles in 2010 to 130 global markets. That represents more than 110,000 BMWs. BMW is the exclusive exporter of passenger vehicles through the Port of Charleston.
The Spartanburg, S.C., facility has been busy cranking out BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. In 2011, the plant is projected to increase annual capacity by 50% to about 240,000 vehicles and will continue its strong export activity, as this will mark the first full year of production of the new X3 and initial demand for the product is extremely favorable.
The plant originally began vehicle production in 1994. In the last 17 years, BMW has produced more than 1.7 million vehicles and, today, exports about 70 percent of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles as well as the X6 Sports Activity Coupe.