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Greenville Business Magazine

#YeahTHATAgenda: New Spartanburg-Made BMWs, Proterra Lands FSU, Ortec Grows, Larkin's, The Man Who Killed Pluto

Feb 14, 2019 10:08AM ● By Chris Haire
BMW's Spartanburg Plant Will Begin Producing Two New Models in April: Twenty-five years after the first BMW's went into production at the German auto giant's Spartanburg plant, the Upstate powerhouse continues to be a driving economic force across the state, thanks to the jobs it creates at its plant, the ones it indirectly creates through its suppliers, and those it helps support at the Inland Port of Greer and the Port of Charleston.

With an eye on continuing BMW's successful run as one of the, if not the top U.S. automotive exporter, yesterday BMW announced the addition of two new models to its Spartanburg line-up: the BMW X3 M sports activity vehicle and the BMW X4 M sports activity coupe.

“The addition of these two all-new models, plus the first-ever BMW X7, which began production last December, is a testament to the performance, passion, and pride of the more than 11,000 people working at Plant Spartanburg and serves to further underscore BMW’s commitment in the U.S.,” said Knudt Flor, President & CEO, BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in a company statement. “Since the BMW X5 was first introduced, creating the premium SAV segment in 1999, Plant Spartanburg has been BMW’s global center of competence for X models and continues to be so today.”

On the same day as the X3 M and X4 M announcement, Bernhard Kuhnt, CEO of BMW North America expressed concern about the Trump administration's threats to place tariffs on imported vehicles. In the past, President Donald J. Trump has singled out German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz as tariff targets.

"If tariffs go up, it's not good for the consumer it's not good for our dealer network it is not good for the economy in total," said Bernhard Kuhnt, CEO of BMW North America, told CNBC on Wednesday.
"I'm not at politician, but we'll deal with the consequences," he added.

According to CNBC, the "Commerce Department is expected to deliver a report within days that many industry experts say could deem auto imports into the United States a threat to national security and seek tariffs as high as 25 percent on all vehicles imported into the U.S. The tariffs for most light vehicles is now at 2.5 percent, and there is a long-standing 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks."

CNBC also notes that BMW "
expects to hit a near-record level of production this year of more than 400,000 vehicles."

SRS Update: NNSA defense leader discusses pit production commitment (Aiken Standard)

Airbus Terminating A380 Program in 2021(Aviation Week)

FDA Issues Statement on Findings from Investigation of November 2018 E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce (Manufacturing.Net)

The Wire
Ortec Growing Its Existing Anderson County Operations

9Round Finalizes Master Franchise Agreement In Ecuador

Furman University Board Of Trustees Receives AGB's John W. Nason Award

United Way Of Greenville County Honors A Year Of Impact At Community Awards Celebration

NAI Columbia Closes ±62.95 Acre West Columbia Land Sale

JW Aluminum Ranks Fourth In Top Economic Development Of 2018 In S.C.

Beef Jerky Outlet Announces Location In Historic Downtown Charleston

50 Most Influential
Larkin Hammond
Larkin’s Restaurants
Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Larkin Hammond is celebrating 20 years of the Larkin’s brand this year. While a lot has changed in the last 20 years of business, like opening seven restaurants and running a booming catering business, there’s much that hasn’t changed. Hammond will still bus a table today like she did in 1998, she still has a passion for philanthropy and giving back to the community that supports her, and she continues to live out her dream through her ideas each and every day.

Over the last year, Hammond has partnered in events to benefit the Cancer Survivor’s Park Alliance, flood relief victims through the Red Cross, the Lake Lure Police Department, Poe Mill Achievement Center, the Meyer Center, and more. 

She plans to continue these relationships in 2019 for events such as the Limoncello Restaurant Walk in January and the second annual Picnic for the Park in the spring.