BMW Bullish On The U.S.

I recently got news that BMW is cutting its German workforce by 7.5 percent over 2 years while planning to increase production in its South Carolina plant 50 percent by 2012. So is that good for us? I kind of think so.

 

I recently got news that BMW is cutting its German workforce by 7.5 percent over 2 years while planning to increase production in its South Carolina plant 50 percent by 2012. So is that good for us? I kind of think so.

By the numbers, BMW announced a $750 million investment in its Greer, South Carolina, plant and with it, creation of 500 jobs and an additional 1.2 million square feet of space. During the next 4 years, unit production at the plant will grow from 155,000 to 240,000 rounded out by the manufacture of hybrid and diesel models. Employment at Greer is 4,500 full timers.

It makes sense—since this move is driven by the dollar/euro exchange rate—that local suppliers are in for some potential business from B’mer. I don’t see BMW buying parts from Germany if they can get them here, which is of course is good for our manufacturing base.

With so much work being outsourced from our shores to others, it’s a nice change of pace to see in-sourcing for a change. Maybe some of us must swallow hard, but I long ago came to grips with transplants because, like it or not, many are here to stay. Sure, domestic ownership would be ideal, but manufacturing work is the life blood of our domestically owned supplier base and in the case of in-sourcing, such as BMW is doing; I suggest we take the work and run it!

 

Learn more: I recently wrote more on in-sourcing that you can read at http://www.productionmachining.com/columns/an-in-sourcing-opportunity.aspx