BMW claimed it was again the biggest US automotive exporter by value for the fifth year in a row, with exports worth over US$8.4bn in 2018.
The company told Reuters it exported 234,689 units of the X series SUVs and coupes from its Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant last year.
“Despite…the ongoing uncertainty regarding trade and tariffs, Plant Spartanburg is still positively contributing to the US balance of trade,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing, said.
The automaker’s announcement appears strategic – it comes as US president Donald Trump threatens to impose tariffs of up to 25% on imported cars and components.
Automakers have cautioned such tariffs on imported cars and parts would add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially devastate the US economy as car companies cut jobs to maintain profits.
“The remarkable partnership between BMW and South Carolina continues to thrive, and this is evident by the fact that our state remains the nation’s leader in the export sales of completed passenger vehicles,” South Carolina secretary of commerce Bobby Hitt told Reuters.