BMW to invest $1 billion to double U.S. production
BMW Group 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 (600 million pounds) bet on sport utility vehicles (SUVs). BMW confirmed that as well as the new X4 SUV, its U.S. factory would make a new X7 SUV. Ramping up production capacity at Spartanburg, South Carolina to 450,000 cars by 2016 will make it BMW’s largest factory.
Raising U.S. production with new models and greater manufacturing capacity increases BMW’s bet on the U.S., a market which is fast recovering to levels seen before the 2007 financial crisis, helped by the popularity of SUVs. “With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our U.S. plant,” Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said, explaining that customers had demanded such a vehicle from BMW. Reuters last week reported BMW planned to build the X7 in South Carolina.