BMW opens first US press shop at South Carolina plant where it will manufacture EVs

The German auto-manufacturer BMW opened its first press shop in North America at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it will produce the exterior for its X3 model, the company announced on Friday June 21

The press shop will produce the X3’s outer skin, including its exterior body sides, doors, side panels and tailgate, from steel or aluminium coils, the company said.

“After 30 years of successful production, we are further expanding our commitment. In late 2026, production of fully-electric Sports Activity Vehicles will get underway here in Spartanburg – a further step toward strengthening our global resilience,” Milan Nedeljković, member of the board of management of
BMW AG responsible for production, said.

“Having this press shop on-site fits our ‘local for local’ strategy, whereby we produce major parts at the location where we need them,” Robert Engelhorn, president and chief executive officer of BMW manufacturing, said.

The Spartanburg plant has also established a closed-loop material cycle for scrap metal from the press shop. As much as 60 short tons (around 54.4 tonnes) of scrap are accumulated each day, which are taken off-site to be recycled and reused to manufacture new steel and aluminium coils, the company said.

BMW announced in 2022 that it was expanding its US operations in South Carolina to build electric vehicles (EVs).

The Spartanburg plant will ramp up to produce at least six fully electric models through 2030, and the high-voltage batteries for future BEVs from Spartanburg will come from BMW’s nearby battery-assembly plant in Woodruff, South Carolina.

The company broke ground at the Woodruff plant in June 2023 and will be producing sixth-generation batteries there; the company expects the battery assembly plant to “soon play an important role in [BMW’s] electric future” in the US.

Market participants in the US have been reporting tightness in the availability of aluminium scrap. This has been supporting the refined aluminium premium in the country while consumers turned to more refined metal for their needs.

Fastmarkets assessed the daily aluminium P1020A premium, ddp Midwest US at 20-21 cents per lb on Monday June 24.

The BMW X3 is one of the company’s best-selling vehicles; more than 1.7 million BMW X3s have been built at the Spartanburg plant since the model’s launch in 2010.

The Spartanburg plant is currently among the largest BMW plants in the world. The 750,000-square-meter campus includes three body shops, two paint shops and two assembly halls. It produces more than 1,500 vehicles per day.

Fastmarkets’ automotive suite brings together the vital commercial insights, data and analytics that you need to help you make accurate forecasts, manage inventories and price risk, benchmark costs against your peers’ costs and refine your strategic plans. Learn more about the products and services that make up Fastmarkets’ automotive suite.

What to read next
Rapidly expanding capacity for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries in the United States and Canada has raised worries over the supply of raw materials to feed processors in the region, sources have told Fastmarkets
Chinese mining giant CMOC reported a 178% year-on-year increase in cobalt metal production for the first six months of 2024, according to an announcement by the company on Friday July 12
Steel industry participants in the United States are unclear whether Brazilian slab imports will be exempt from the 25% tariffs under Section 232 that will be levied on Mexican imports for steel that is not melted and poured in Mexico, the US or Canada, sources told Fastmarkets on Wednesday July 17
Fastmarkets has amended the name of MB-AL-0231 Aluminium P1020A all-in price, delivered Midwest US, US cents/lb as of Wednesday July 17.
Analysis by UK-based industry group ChargeUK shows that there are now more than 930,000 public, home and workplace charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) across the nation, supporting 1.1 million such vehicles
Aluminum scrap generation in Europe is expected to decrease in the current quarter due to lower demand from downstream metal producers amid the domestic seasonal summer slowdown, according to the latest market overview from the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR)