Frankfurt: Automaker BMW AG hopes to increase the number of cars it builds in the US to more than 200,000 annually by 2010, Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said on 16 March.
Speaking to analysts at BMW’s headquarters in Munich, Reithofer said the aim was to reduce the company’s exposure to the weaker dollar, a paramount move given that the US remains BMW’s top single market.
“We also have to buy more goods (in North America) to improve our natural hedging,” Reithofer said.
The euro has been running strong and steady against the US dollar, up more than 14% in recent months. BMW’s annual production capacity at its US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is currently around 140,000 vehicles.
BMW’s new X6 model will be produced in Spartanburg from 2008 onward as part of the company’s effort to increase capacity in the US. The automaker said it expects pretax profit this year to rise above the euro 4.12 billion (US$5.43 billion) it posted in 2006 on the expectations of increased auto sales.
The company also reported a 28% gain in net profit to 2.87 billion euros ($3.79 billion (euro2.87 billion) ) thanks to a one-time gain from the sale of a stake in British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce PLC.