Originally Posted by Efthreeoh
Well Spartanburg was one of BMW's first plants outside of Germany and other than the drivetrain parts, a lot of the component parts were sourced to US suppliers if I remember correctly and there were quality problems with them. But 20 years ago, outside of the E30, BMW's were not the paragon of build quality (nor are they now).
Since many manufacturers build in Mexico, good quality cars are achievable. The Ford Fusion is built in Mexico and is a very high quality automobile based on it's initial quality surveys by JD Power.
If you don't like the political statement, well, that's why it's a Forum; not everything written is meant to be likable. But it is clear that if BMW had such great success it has claimed to have with the Spartanburg plant, why not build a new plant in the USA to serve the North American and South American markets? Something has changed in the business climate in the USA that helped BMW decide the Mexico offered a better deal. Maybe it is the NAFTA situation (which wasn’t around 20 years ago when Spartanburg was under consideration), but considering the potential business climate that the Obama administration is developing, it's a good bet it was one of BMW’s main considerations for its choice in plant location. Considering BMW had developed parts supplier relationships with USA-based suppliers, why start almost anew in Mexico? It doesn’t make sense. Governmental policies and regulations are ALWAYS taken into consideration in any business decision. The US economy has been stagnate for four years, do the math.
I think we are overall on the same page.
- Mexico, along with the US, has the capability to build good quality cars.
- Start-up of a plant will always be shaky at first
- Technically, utilizing an established plant and supplier base will be easier to launch a new product.
- Many things go into consideration when choosing a plant location, whether it be government regulations, market conditions, labor rates and expertise, local incentives, etc.. I'm sure BMW reviewed all these.
I never said I don't like your political statement, nor did I give my stance. I simply said I don't know how BMW considered government regulations into their decision (level of influence). I'm sure you also don't know, unless you are part of BMW's board of directors. I do know that some people get so passionate regarding politics, conversations (especially on forums) can go downhill, fast.
I'm sticking to my logic that BMW wants to expand growth in the Central and South American regions. They need 2 things - small vehicles and localized production. BMW probably mulled over production in Brazil (where 13 other Automakers produce regionally sold vehicles), but with the recent drop in Brazil's economic reputation, Mexico is taking the lead. With a small FWD platform, it will appeal to the more Southern countries, and Mexico is that much closer to the waterways (reduced logistics costs).
When my German company was deciding to set up a new plant, potential locations included Mexico, as well as a large group of states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, etc....We already have plants in Illinois and Mexico. Michigan was quickly axed due to the labor unions and high rates, Mexico didn't make sense due to our existing plant's ability to support local markets. We settled upon South Carolina due to a number of factors, with government policies being only a piece of the pie.