BMW announced Monday its plan to add approximately 1,000 jobs to their Spartanburg, S.C. plant by 2021.
The announcement comes at a time when President Trump has placed enormous pressure on automakers to expand their American presence and curb the number of foreign imports. In the wake of BMW’s previous announcement to build a plant in Mexico, Trump even threatened to put a 35 percent import duty on the foreign-made vehicles.
The German-based automaker sees this announcement as a way to curry favor with the new president. “The investment automakers make in communities and the jobs they create has been especially important because of Trump,” Michelle Krebs, an Autotrader analyst, told Bloomberg.
BMW CEO Harald Krueger also announced that this expansion will be coupled with an investment of $600 million, with $200 million in funding for workforce training and education, at the facility.
Both South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, were in attendance at the unveiling, signaling their support for BMW’s increased presence in the Palmetto State. In recognizing BMW’s commitment to their South Carolina plant, McMaster acknowledged BMW’s role as, “the gift that keeps on giving.”
Although this announcement can be seen as a victory for Trump’s America First message, Senator Graham argued that the globalization trend cannot be completely stemmed.
“I’m an American politician who likes German cars,” Graham said, and “To those who fear globalization, embrace it, because it’s not going away.”
Already employing over 9,000 workers, the Spartanburg plant announced record production over the past year, producing over 400,000 units, with 70 percent being exported.