The head of BMW engine operations world-wide has said it would be better if Britain joined the euro.

The website reported that Dr. Norbert Reithofer, who is also a BMW board member, said last week that it would be better for the UK to be inside the euro zone. He was speaking to journalists at the official opening of the new Hams Hall engine plant near Birmingham in central England.

According to the website, Reithofer said the car manufacturer was reluctant to answer questions about the euro which could be seen as trying to influence the UK government.

He said that five BMW car assembly plants relied on engines from Hams Hall but noted that the high value of the pound sterling does not cause the same exchange-related difficulties for the UK engine plant as it does for UK vehicle factories.

“We do not want to beat about the bush on the currency question,” said Dr. Reithofer. “We have a philosophy which means production follows the market.
“Britain is BMW’s third most important car market and it is right to have a manufacturing base here”.

With Hams Hall assembling new four-cylinder petrol engines, BMW’s engine plant in Steyr, Austria, will cut back production, Reithofer said.

The report said that BMW decided to build Hams Hall in 1996 [when it still owned Rover and Land Rover nearby] and despite the debate about the high value of sterling, is looking at a lifespan of 30 to 40 years for Hams Hall, not just at the next five years.

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BMW Strategic Review