Car production in the US has taken another hit today; BMW too will join the list of manufactuers letting employees go. With the reported temporary plant closures in Germany and these layoffs BMW hopes to weather the current market. Approximately 733 temporary workers at the plant in South Carolina will go to work on December 19th and not anticipate returning until economic conditions improve. BMW has stated they will be paid until the end of this year.

While these articles note that part of the cause of the layoffs is the end of the Z4 it is also fairly obvious that the slow sales of the X5 have not helped the situation. The X6 will hit its target numbers for the year due to increased international sales which goes along with the fact that more than 70% of all vehicles produced in SC were for export markets.

Palbay a local insider and regular contributor here also tells us that the X5d has reached production ready status and it is hoped this model will help the current situation with its improved mileage and new styling cues.BMW will continue the plant expansion as planned to usher in the era of US produced X3s. Additional models including the X6 hybrid and ///M SAV models are also eagerly awaiting production at the facility.

BMW to lay off up to 733 temporary workers
Greenville Online

As many as 733 temporary workers at BMW’s Greer plant will be laid off in December as the German automaker begins to feel the effects of the world financial crisis.

Job reductions at the plant that is a powerful economic engine sustaining thousands of jobs in the Upstate and across South Carolina are limited for now to temporary workers the plant employs through the MAU Inc. staffing company.

The plant has a permanent work force of about 5,400 BMW-hired workers, in addition to hundreds of contract and contingent employees.

Those jobs have a potent multiplier effect. An estimated  23,000 jobs have been created through a network of companies in the Upstate that supply the automotive parts and services. How this reduction could play out through that network was unclear late Thursday.

The company said, however, it remains focused on its planned expansion of the plant, which now makes the X3, X5 and X6 models. It plans to launch a diesel-power X5 this year and a hybrid X6 next year.

Sour economy leads BMW to lay off SC temp workers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – More than 500 temporary workers at BMW ‘s South Carolina plant will likely lose their jobs at the end of the year because the ailing economy in the United States has hurt sales for the German automaker.
The exact number of layoffs hasn ‘t been determined, but the company that provides the workers for the plant said it has told the state up to 733 layoffs are possible, and the final number should be above 500 employees, said Randy Hatcher, president of staffing company MAU.

Most of the workers are on BMW ‘s production line, although some employees in logistics also will be affected, Hatcher said Friday.

Thanks to all that provided this information!