Tags: BMW | invest | US | Output

BMW to Invest $1 Billion to Boost US Output by Half

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 02:50 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
BMW will expand production capacity in the United States by 50 percent and introduce another new offroad model, the German luxury carmaker said on Friday, in what amounts to a $1 billion bet on sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

BMW said that as well as the new X4 SUV, its factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, would make a new X7 SUV, and it would ramp up production capacity to 450,000 cars by 2016.

The investment cuts the German automaker's dependence on fragile European markets, which accounted for 44 percent of group sales in 2013, and increases its bet on a U.S. market which is fast recovering to levels seen before the 2007 financial crisis, helped by the popularity of SUVs.

SUVs accounted for 32 percent of total U.S. vehicle sales last year, up from around 19 percent in 1999, statistics supplied by LMC Automotive show.

Gas-guzzling offroaders have proved particularly popular in the United States, thanks in part to the low fuel prices that have resulted from its booming shale oil and gas industry.

BMW Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said cheap fuel was not the main driver of the Bavarian automaker's plans to revive the X7, a project which had been mothballed a few years ago.

"It has nothing to do with the U.S. fuel prices," he told Reuters in Spartanburg.

"It's the right product for us. It was pushed by our marketing and sales division, not the engineers. We think it will be a success in the U.S. and China, we cannot just ignore the market," he said.

The United States is BMW's second-largest national market, accounting for 19 percent of group sales in 2013, behind China with 20 percent of sales. Germany, BMW's home market, accounts for 13 percent of the automaker's sales.

BMW expects the U.S. car market as a whole to grow to about 16 million cars in 2014, almost rebounding to 2007 levels.

Spartanburg started out making BMW's 3-series sedans but today makes offroaders, producing 300,000 vehicles in 2013 including the X3 compact offroader and the X5 and X6 models.

Reuters last week reported BMW planned to build the X7 in South Carolina.

About 70 percent of Spartanburg's daily production of 1,200 vehicles is exported, BMW said.

The latest investment will see the number of people employed at the plant rise by about 800 to 8,800, BMW said, adding there were no plans to create a German-style works council.

BMW board member Harald Krueger said: "The attrition rate (of workers) is very low at this plant. It's less that 1 percent."

In 2019, U.S. domestic production of crude oil will account for 63 percent of total supplies, according to the Energy Information Administration, a significant increase from 2011 when it barely covered 38 percent of the country's needs.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Argentina to Investigate If Debt Case Biased by Holdout Speculation

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 19:57 PM

Argentina's economy ministry said on Friday it had asked the national securities watchdog to investigate whether litigat . . .

US Judge: Argentina Debt Talks Must Continue After Default

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 19:45 PM

Argentina cannot turn its back on negotiations with holdout creditors after defaulting on its sovereign debt, a U.S. jud . . .

Greek Sovereign Debt Rating Raised by Moody’s on Fiscal Outlook

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 19:36 PM

Greece's credit rating was raised two levels by Moody's Investors Service, which cited a better fiscal and economic outl . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved