A study shows BMW’s economic impact in SC to be $26.7 billion

The study by the Darla Moore School of Business at USC found BMW’s reach extends beyond the Upstate.


BMW employs 11,000+ at Plant Spartanburg. | Photo by GVLtoday

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$26.7 billion. That’s the annual economic impact of BMW’s Plant Spartanburg according to a study by the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

On the heels of being named the largest automotive exporter in the US for the ninth straight year and investing $1.7 billion to build electric cars, it doesn’t seem like that impact is slowing down anytime soon.

“The relationship that BMW built with the state of South Carolina is the paradigm for what we think of when we think of economic development today,” said SC Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey.

The study

The study examines economic multipliers and ripple effects (read: how jobs with one company lead to jobs for other companies) to see BMW’s full impact on SC, and we’re breaking it down by the numbers:

42,935 jobs across SC are supported directly and indirectly by Plant Spartanburg with $3.1 billion in wages and salaries coming from BMW’s SC operations.

  • For every 10 jobs created at Plant Spartanburg, the study found another 25 are created elsewhere in the state, for a total of 35 jobs.
  • DYK BMW regularly uses 500+ SC suppliers — 90% of which are in the Upstate?

    SC’s automotive manufacturing growth is the fastest in the Southeast. | Chart via BMW

BMW’s total jobs created has increased by an average of 4.3% each year since 2017 — more than three times the state’s average (1.3%) over the same period, showing Plant Spartanburg’s ongoing role in SC job creation.


BMW exports waiting to ship at the Port of Charleston. | Photo by Fred Rollison via BMW

Fred Rollison

4.8% of all manufacturing jobs across SC come from Plant Spartanburg’s direct employment base.

  • From 2011-2021, automotive manufacturing in SC increased by 167%, contributing to a 17.2% in overall manufacturing growth compared to a national average of just 6.3%.

Read the full report.

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