BMW considers Brazil to be a significant market with economic importance, which is why the carmaker is thinking about shifting its car assembly to the country.
Doing this will diversify BMW's geographic footprint in Latin America and particularly in Brazil, where living standards are going up as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Although BMW’s sales are still low in Brazil (with only about 10,000 units out of 1.46 million last year worldwide), it grew at an annual pace that’s higher than 50%, which is much higher than the figures for mature markets.
BMW production boss Frank-Peter Arndt told Reuters that the company looks at the “significance and prominence of the market.”
He added that Brazil’s development in the last decade has been ‘impressive.’ At the news conference, BMW said that with its new model launches such as the new-generation 1-series entry-premium car, it will have another record year for earnings.
It also expects vehicle sales to go significantly higher than the 1.5 million mark. This would boost BMW's automotive operating margin above 8% as currency tailwinds mostly offset added raw material burdens in the low hundreds of millions of euros.
According to CEO Norbert Reithofer, 2009 was the year of the economic crisis, 2010 was BMW's year of a new beginning, and that 2011 will be the company’s year of opportunities. [via autonews]