Auto manufacturer sparks growth in South Carolina

As more automotive manufacturing plants move into the U.S., employment in the industry continues to rise. Some of the world's largest car producers have been setting up new factories and expanding their pre-existing plants within the nation's walls. South Carolina is the latest state to see a significant boom in the auto field, with one of the world's largest car manufacturers expanding in the Southern state.

BMW invests in $1 billion plant
To celebrate its 20th anniversary of producing in the U.S., German automaker BMW recently announced its plans to invest more than $1 billion in its plant in Greer, S.C., The Associated Press reported. Over the course of the next two years, the company will spend its new investment on the production of the X-series, including a new X7 SUV and X4 coupe. By 2016, the factory plans on building more than 450,000 cars per year, which will make it the largest operation in the U.S. Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, explained that the company has been instrumental in the success of the state.

In addition to producing a number of new vehicles, the operation will create more than 800 job opportunities for people living in the region. The company's factories in South Carolina have been instrumental in providing jobs for residents, accounting for more than 1 percent of the state's entire working population.

Other industries may flourish in the region 
Since BMW has such a great impact on the state's economy, the new expansion is expected to have a positive effect on other industries in the area. Post and Courier reported that with the boom in the auto sector, the State Ports Authority's Charleston terminals are likely to see an increase in business as well, mainly because these companies will be responsible for shipping a large number of cars overseas. Because of this, the BMW expansion may be partially responsible for even more employment opportunities in the state.

Additionally, the source reported that the nearby export center may be required to hire more employees to ship the vehicles in the States, whether by train or truck. Mark Vitner, the senior economist for Wells Fargo, explained that BMW's expansion boded well for the state's economy as a whole.

"BMW's continued expansion in South Carolina has been one of the most important factors driving the transition of the state's economy away from its historic dependence on lower-skilled and generally lower​-paying manufacturing and services jobs to more highly skilled and more highly valued jobs," Vitner said to the source.