BMW Opens Health Center at its South Carolina SUV Plant

An idea the UAW and the Detroit Three need to look at.

BMW Manufacturing has opened a Family Health Center at its South Carolina plant for all BMW workers, retirees and their dependents. BMW’s existing onsite family pharmacy was relocated to the new facility and joined there by occupational, primary care services, as well as vision, dental and physical therapy.

The Center will be independently managed by Walgreens Take Care Health Systems, and is among only a few health centers in the U.S. that offers such an array of services exclusively for on-site corporate use.

The combination of cost savings and the benefits of having medical services all in one location offer the company’s non-unionized workforce a new option in their healthcare management, according to BMW. The center is a $5 million investment in a 25,000 square foot facility.

“We want to bring quality health care to associates and their families in a cost-effective and efficient manner,” said Annmarie Higgins, Vice President of Human Resources for BMW Manufacturing. “We want to provide individuals greater opportunity to reach and maintain optimal health through education, prevention, early detection and management of existing health conditions.”

In 2005, BMW opened its onsite Associate Family Pharmacy. Use of the pharmacy was consistently high, averaging 90,000 prescriptions annually with high satisfaction rates.  The new center will be open Monday through Saturday, offering flexible appointment times to meet individual scheduling needs.

BMW Manufacturing is currently undergoing a $900 million investment to expand the plant’s manufacturing footprint by 1.6 million square feet, add another vehicle model and increase the plant’s overall annual capacity to 350,000 units annually. In 2012, the plant produced over 300,000 vehicles, a record production year for the company’s South Carolina factory.  The plant makes X3, X5 and X6 sport utility vehicles. The factory is preparing to add the new BMW X4 to its current vehicle lineup. The plant produces more than 1,000 vehicles per day and exports 70% of its production to 130 global markets.

Earlier this month, BMW of North America reported the best sales year ever with 347,583 vehicles (BMW and Mini combined) sold in 2012. The BMW vehicle models produced in South Carolina contributed significantly to the company’s U.S. sales success, accounting for 30.7% of all BMW brand U.S. sales (281,460). The X5 led with 44,445 units followed by the X3 (35,173) and the X6 (6,749).


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