BMW Announces Leadership Change at its South Carolina Plant


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Josef Kerscher to depart for new role in Germany, Manfred Erlacher to succeed Kerscher.

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WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ and SPARTANBURG, SC--July 3, 2013: Josef Kerscher, who since 2007 has been President of BMW Manufacturing Co. in Spartanburg, South Carolina, will assume new responsibilities as Managing Director of BMW Plant Dingolfing in Bavaria, Germany. Taking over from Kerscher at Spartanburg will be Manfred Erlacher, currently Managing Director of BMW Plant Leipzig in Saxony, Germany. The handover takes place November 1, 2013.

Under Kerscher's leadership, the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina nearly tripled production, going from 105,000 vehicles in 2006 to more than 301,000 vehicles in 2012. During the same period, the Spartanburg plant became the largest exporter of cars from the United States. Additionally, the Spartanburg plant achieved significant milestones in sustainability, reducing energy and water consumption per vehicle manufactured by nearly 50% and plant waste by 84%.

The Spartanburg plant is currently completing a major $900 million (USD) investment expansion to increase production capacity to 350,000 vehicles per year and to prepare for the launch of an entirely new vehicle, the X4 in 2014. The plant is the global manufacturing home for the BMW X5, X6 and X3, and is the company's Center of Competence for X Vehicle Manufacturing.

BMW Group Board Member Harald Kruger, responsible for the Global Production Network, says the Spartanburg plant is a significant part of the worldwide BMW manufacturing network: "With nearly twenty years of production experience, the plant has an impressive development history and its 70% export ratio plays an important role in balancing BMW business growth among Europe, America and Asia. Spartanburg's increased production capacity, the new BMW X5, and the soon-to-come BMW X4 will mean even greater popularity around the world for the BMW models made in the U.S."

The new president of BMW Manufacturing Co. will be Manfred Erlacher who has just led BMW Plant Leipzig through a major expansion in order to manufacture the revolutionary new BMW i3 and i8. Erlacher has been Managing Director of Leipzig since January, 2009. Prior to that, he was head of the BMW plant in Munich having succeeded Josef Kerscher when Kerscher took over the leadership of the Spartanburg plant in 2007.

An engineer by training, Erlacher has extensive experience in BMW production having led both Assembly and Body Shop operations at Plant Munich before becoming Managing Director of the plant.

The successor for Manfred Erlacher at BMW Plant Leipzig will be Milan Nedeljkovic, currently head of Assembly at Plant Leipzig

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