German luxury maker BMW is to announce plans for an expansion of its sole U.S. vehicle manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, SC, this coming Monday. As per a statement last year, the plant is to be upgraded to produce 240,000 vehicles by 2012 from the current 140,000. Sources say the expansion will come in the form of a $27 million, 70,000 square foot addition to the paint facility.
Following on the heels of the news that it will be expanding its Spartanburg production facility, BMW has announced that it will be further reducing its European workforce. The German automaker plans to ramp up its U.S. production by 50 percent by 2012, which will in turn take its toll of BMW's European workforce.
BMW plans to cut 5,600 more jobs this year — on top of the already announced 2,500 cuts — which is about 7.5 percent of BMW's total workforce.
BMW blames the shift in production on the weak value of the dollar, which makes U.S. production more cost effective.
Within the next four years, BMW plans to produce 240,000 vehicles annually in the U.S., up from its current level of 155,000 units.