Three construction projects at BMW AG's U.S. assembly plant are intended to help the automaker work closer with North American suppliers on upcoming vehicles.
BMW is adding a $3 million building next to the Spartanburg, S.C., plant, where it plans to work with suppliers on developing and testing parts. The 13,800-square-foot building, which will be completed by year end, will do pre-production evaluations.
BMW also is building a $9 million testing operation, where it will collaborate with suppliers on vehicle evaluations on issues such as wind noise. The 75-acre project, which includes a test track, is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2006.
At the same time, BMW is spending $10 million to convert a neighboring 220,000-square-foot industrial building into Spartanburg's second parts staging center.
BMW already operates a highly automated parts sequencing center that is part of the plant. The new 55-acre project will create a second parts operation nearby that will handle a wide range of parts, according to BMW spokeswoman Bunny Richardson.
BMW continues to move toward more local sourcing for the X5 SUV and Z4 roadster it produces in South Carolina, Richardson says. Of the 140 North American suppliers it uses, 40 are in South Carolina.
Two new U.S. suppliers are building plants in South Carolina for future business.
Separately, BMW also is nearing completion of a $15 million technology research center near the plant in conjunction with Clemson University. The center will conduct information technology r&d for future uses in vehicle and factory operations.
You may e-mail Lindsay Chappell at