BMW's factory in Spartanburg, S.C., is the brand's biggest plant in the world, and it will become even larger when a $1 billion expansion is completed this year, bringing annual capacity to 450,000 vehicles.
Last year, it built a record 400,904 vehicles -- topping that of any of its factories in Germany, BMW says. More than 280,000 crossovers made in Spartanburg were exported.
"We are very fortunate that ... years ago, the company decided to go to the United States and build a plant at a time when everyone was withdrawing," said Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America. "It was not only a brave move, but it shows how right the move was. It is a big, important footprint for us."