America’s biggest car exporter on a net basis, BMW will reveal their improved X3 sport utility vehicle in Spartanburg, South Carolina to celebrate the 25th anniversary of operating in the United States.
Earlier in January this year, Trump threatened BMW with a 35% import tax for foreign made vehicles if the automaker continued plans to open a new factory in Mexico. German Newspaper Bild reported that the president voiced there will be a stop to millions of BMW sellers in the U.S in a closed-door meeting with European Union officials.
While Trump has continuously criticized trading policies between the U.S. and Germany since earlier this year, the German automaker have invested in American facilities in order to evade the president’s threats over foreign imports. The improved models of the X3 will be available for purchase this fall and contribute to the $10 billion worth of vehicles exported annually. Production rose to a record setting 411,000 units last year and 70 percent of those vehicles contributed to American exports. Although the president has previously reiterated his strong stance on foreign imports, his threats have receded while he deals with other political conflicts.
BMW CEO said on Monday, “Free trade has made this a success story in the U.S. possible. It is essential for global businesses and economies around the world to flourish.”
South Carolina has recognized the German automaker with assisting the state lower unemployment and stimulating the economy distressed from the loss of textile jobs. Since it was announced in 1992, the world’s second largest luxury automaker has invested $8 billion into its Spartanburg Plant. The company also announced they would invest another $600 million from 2018 to 2021. Their facilities currently labor more than 9,000 employees and the company plans to create an additional 1,000 jobs by 2021.
Apart from employment, the luxury automaker has donated $36 million for local education, cultural and civic programs. BMW also raised 12 million since the start of its sponsored gold tournament which is held annually.
Michelle Krebs, an Analyst with Autotrader, commented “the Investments automakers make in communities and the jobs they create has been especially important because of Trump.”
The redesigned series will incorporate the company’s newest technology which includes hand gesture control and a driver assistance system. Despite improvements, it may not be enough as competitors such as Mercedes have outperformed BMW this year. According Kelly Blue Book’s Brand Watch metrics, BMW’s traditional designs and styles have a declined since 2010.
Earlier this year, many investors were concerned regarding the anticipated designs of other series from the automaker earlier this year. A London based analyst with Evercore ISI commented “There’s the risk the 5-series will be somewhat yawn inducing. I’m curious to see what they’ve learned from the 7- series, which haven’t been such a success with lukewarm sales and pricing.”