BMW is planning to increase production at its US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to more than 200,000 cars a year, up from 140,000 at present.

Speaking at the BMW annual general meeting today in Munich, chief executive Norbert Reithofer said that capacity will be expanded to 200,000 units to produce the new X6 there, as well as the next generation X3. These will be in addition to the Z4 and X5 currently produced at the plant.

The current X3 is built by Magna under contract.

Reithofer explained that the additional capacity would help exploit growth potential in the US market and ease currency risks associated with the currently weak US dollar.

The BMW CEO confirmed group goals for the current financial year and that the company is aiming to exceed 2006’s record profit before tax. He said that BMW is on target to produce more than 1.4m cars this year and reiterated the group’s target to produce 1.6m cars a  year by 2010.

Reithofer also confirmed that the new BMW Welt delivery centre will open to the public on the weekend of 20/21 October. The is a new ‘brand experience centre’ in Munich.