The BMW Manufacturing Co. plant in Spartanburg
will boost production over the next five years from its current
140,000 vehicles to 240,000 vehicles annually, the company said
The firm had said in May that it intended to increase production
at the Spartanburg plant to more than 200,000 units annually to
shield itself from the weaker U.S. dollar and meet potential market
growth in its biggest single market, the United States.
Officials didn't say at that time exactly how many more vehicles
the company planned to make. The Munich-based company publicly
detailed its plans in a statement by chief executive Norbert
Reithofer released Thursday in Germany.
Robert Hitt, a spokesman for the company in South Carolina, said
it isn't yet clear whether the additional production will result in
any new jobs at the Spartanburg plant.
``We are deeply engaged in the planning and technological
preparation at this point, so today would not be the day to announce
any such adjustments of that type,'' Hitt said.
The Spartanburg facility currently produces BMW's X5, which the
company calls a ``sports activity vehicle,'' and also has turned out
the Z4 sports car, M Roadster, Z4 Coupe and M Coupe.
Hitt said BMW also plans to start production in 2008 of a
four-door X6 ``sports activity coupe'' at the Spartanburg plant.
The company's next-generation vehicle, the X3, will start being
built in Spartanburg in 2010, he said.
The United States is BMW's single biggest market, and last year
it sold 113,000 X3s, with 27 per cent of those going to U.S. buyers.
The X3 also is produced at a plant in Austria.
Unfavourable exchange rates, particularly for the dollar and yen
against the euro, can hurt manufacturers by making their goods more
expensive in other markets. But producing cars in the United States,
where both costs and revenues are in dollars, allows the company to
insulate its U.S. sales from currency swings.