SPARTANBURG, SC-The National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ) has recognized BMW Manufacturing Co for its significant contribution to the U.S. export industry.

BMW's plant in South Carolina has steadily increased its export activity. In 2009, the plant contributed more than $3.1 billion in exports. In 2010, the company's export value grew to more than $4 billion annually. According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the current value of BMW exports confirms the company’s Spartanburg facility as the largest vehicle exporter from the U.S. to non-NAFTA countries.

BMW’s plant in Spartanburg currently produces approximately 1,000 vehicles each day and is the exclusive exporter of passenger vehicles through the Port of Charleston. This year, the plant is projected to produce more than 260,000 vehicles and will export approximately 70% of those vehicles to more than 130 global markets.

"BMW vehicles manufactured in South Carolina are a major contributor to the U.S. balance of trade," says Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing Co. "Consistently strong, global demand for the vehicles built at our plant-the BMW X3, X5 and X6 - has led to a favorable impact on the U.S. economy."

2011 marks the first full year of U.S. production of the all-new BMW X3. Strong global demand for the product has been ongoing since it was first introduced in late 2010. The plant originally began vehicle production in 1994. In the last 17 years, BMW Manufacturing has produced more than 1.9 million vehicles.