BMW announced that, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce data, in 2020 was the largest U.S. automotive exporter by value... for the seventh consecutive year!

The German manufacturer produced a total of 361,365 vehicles at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and over 60% of them (218,820) were exported for a total amount of more than $8.9 billion. That's over $40,000 per car.

"The BMWs produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina, were exported through the Port of Charleston, SC (more than 189,000 units), and through five other southeastern ports: Savannah, GA; Brunswick, GA; Jacksonville, FL; Miami, FL; and Everglades, FL. More than 13,000 BMWs were also exported via rail."

"The top five export countries from BMW Manufacturing were China (23.3% of export volume), Germany (12.9%), South Korea (7.8%), Canada (6%), and Russia (5.3%)."

It's a significant achievement and very interesting that BMW is exporting more, by value, than Tesla, Ford, GM or FCA. We guess that by volume Ford and GM are far ahead, but it's difficult to tell without the full set of data. Of course, it's "easier" to win, by value through selling a premium/more expensive vehicles, rather than mainstream models.

Anyway, we are pretty sure that Tesla must be quite high in the rankings.

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e
2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e
BMW X5 xDrive45e
BMW X5 xDrive45e

A growing part of BMW production and export are plug-in hybrid models, the BMW X5 xDrive45e and BMW X3 xDrive30e that entered production in 2019 (August and December respectively).

  • BMW X5 xDrive45e: 24,248 units in 2020
  • BMW X3 xDrive30e: 22,964 units in 2020

Besides the 47,212 plug-in hybrids (13% of the total production), BMW produces on-site also battery packs.

"The plug-in hybrid electric variants of the plant’s two most popular vehicles set production records in 2020. The BMW X3 xDrive30e (22,964 units) and the BMW X5 xDrive45e (24,248 units) achieved all-time highs, in part, because of a 2019 expansion of the battery assembly hall. These 47,212 electrified BMWs made up 13 percent of the plant’s total production last year. BMW has assembled batteries for electrified vehicles since 2015, making the BMW Group a pioneer of electromobility in the United States."

BMW Manufacturing Is Largest U.S. Automotive Exporter by Value for 7th Consecutive Year
BMW Manufacturing Is Largest U.S. Automotive Exporter by Value for 7th Consecutive Year

Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing said:

“Claiming the top spot once again for U.S. automotive exports is a direct result of the commitment and dedication of the Plant Spartanburg team during the challenging 2020 production year. BMW is proud to contribute to the U.S. balance of trade as we continue to be the leading manufacturer of premium vehicles for the world.”

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