GERMANY: BMW eyes South American opportunity
BMW is considering establishing a production plant in South America as sales continue to grow strongly there.
While key markets are still Germany, the US, China and the UK, BMW group chairman Norbert Reithofer said the company grew "dynamically" last year, particularly in Brazil and other South American markets.
He added: “As a next strategic step we are considering further production sites, for instance in South America. Final decisions have not been made yet but our credo has always been that production follows the market. So it is a matter of course that we observe all emerging markets closely.”
BMW already assembles vehicles in the US, India, China and South Africa – as well as the UK where Mini and Rolls-Royce cars are made.
In Chennai, India, it assembles the 3- and 5-series as well as the X1. Reithofer added: “We will also make the X3 there from the second quarter of this year onward.”
In China BMW is due to start production at its new plant in Shenyang next year pushing production capacity in the country to more than 150,000 a year.
It currently has a joint venture with local company Brilliance Automotive whose products include a long wheelbase version of the 5-series developed specially for China's chauffeur-driven executive market.