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By: Bob Montgomery, Staff Writer
BMW supplier Brose North America celebrated the opening of its new $6 million manufacturing plant in Duncan.
“I am proud to say Brose Spartanburg is now operational,” plant general manager Michael Morgenroth told nearly 100 guests and employees at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Brose makes lightweight door systems for all of BMW’s models and front air gates for BMW’s X3 and X4 models, Morgenroth said.
Morgenroth said because its assemblies are lightweight, vehicles use less gas and generate fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
The Duncan plant will employ more than 60 workers, many of whom have already been hired. Several have been trained to operate robotic work stations that assemble the door and air gate systems.
The company arrived in Spartanburg County over a year ago and occupied space at Spartanburg Community College’s business incubator at the Tyger River campus in Duncan until the plant was built.
State Rep. Mike Forrester, SCC’s director of economic development, was among the guests Thursday.
“I’m just happy they chose Spartanburg County, and we look forward to continuing working with them to help them grow and expand,” Forrester said.
Also attending the event was Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg.
She said she’s glad Brose is a big supporter of the arts and cultural events.
“They value a creative workforce,” she said. “When you think about it, the manufacturing process is the result of an original piece of art.”
Longtime Brose employee Maria Cruces said she joined the company as an intern at its plant in Mexico in 2008, then advanced to industrial engineer. She moved to the Brose plant in Michigan in 2014 as an industrial engineering planner, and early this year came to the Duncan plant as production manager.
“I love it,” Cruces said of working for Brose. “It’s an intercultural company that gives you the opportunity to grow as much as you want.”
Morgenroth said Brose is planning to produce 1.7 million door systems a year for BMW by 2020. He said Brose also makes 400,000 air gate systems for the two X models.
“Brose is a world-class company and we are fortunate to have them in Spartanburg,” chamber president and CEO Allen Smith said. “Brose is another example of Spartanburg’s position as a center of advanced manufacturing excellence, and we look forward to partnering with their team for years to come.”