BMW Manufacturing announced that it will bring on board more than 500 new contingency associates in the next few months to get ready for production of the next generation BMW X3. This workforce increase also prepares Plant Spartanburg in Spartanburg, S.C., to meet growing demand of other models currently being produced for worldwide markets. The company said workers being hired under this process will be eligible for health, dental, 401(k) and vacation benefits.

These actions are part of the overall startup plan of the $750 million plant expansion that is nearing completion and will begin production this fall. Paint and body shop expansions, as well as the construction of a new assembly hall, were announced in March 2008. These additions are proceeding on schedule and are a part of the company’s growing commitment to production in the U.S. When completed, the plant in Spartanburg will begin 2011 with an expanded capacity of over 200,000 vehicles a year.

“We are pleased to report that the BMW X5 and X6 vehicles produced in our Spartanburg plant are selling very well around the world, so we are adjusting our staffing levels to accommodate the increased global market demand, as well as prepare for the upcoming launch of the all new X3 sports activity vehicle,” said Josef Kerscher, president, BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg.

BMW’s production strategy is demand-driven in response to confirmed customer orders. This means that external market conditions dictate the production schedule and BMW’s contract staffing model has been a key to successfully maintaining this practice. Others in the industry are adopting this model, as well, since it gives the flexibility to quickly adapt to changing market conditions.

 “We are committed to developing and maintaining a talented manufacturing workforce in the Southeast U.S. and South Carolina in particular,” Kerscher said. “With more than 70 percent of the vehicles we produce in South Carolina being exported to global markets with very diverse economic circumstances, we find it best to hire in an incremental fashion due to these uncertain economic conditions.”

BMW Manufacturing is the sole global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and the BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe. The company exports these vehicles to more than 130 markets around the world. Later this year, BMW Manufacturing will begin production of the BMW X3, currently produced in Austria.

MAU, BMW’s contract staffing partner, will be responsible for hiring these contingent associates. MAU will be hiring over the next several months. Qualified applicants should either attend job fairs at the Greenville OneStop (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) on Wednesday, July 7 and the Spartanburg Community College Tyger River campus (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) on Wednesday, July 14, or apply online. Applications and additional details are available at www.mau.com/bmwjobs.

BMW Manufacturing began production in 1994 as the first European manufacturer to build and successfully operate a plant in the U.S. The factory celebrated its 15th anniversary in South Carolina last September and has produced approximately 1.6 million vehicles since 1994. Recently, plant officials, also noted that it has exported over 1 million vehicles from its Upstate South Carolina plant during this time span.

BMW Manufacturing Company is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California.