BMW AG’s CEO Friedrich Eichiner recently told reporters in Cape Town, South Africa, that the company forecasts “significant” increases in sales in the first half of 2011 over the demand for new models.
He said the company sees “definite” growth in emerging markets and double-digit growth is expected in China. He added that there should be growth in Korea, Brazil, Russia and the company also sees a U.S. market comeback.
Eichiner said growing demand from China is likely to offset slowing gains in Europe, where several countries have been affected by the debt crises. He said that growth in Germany will be about 5 percent to 6 percent but that Europe as a whole will be flat because there are still many problems in European countries such as in Spain.
At a facility in Leipzig, Germany, BMW will spend EUR400 million ($545 million) to add production of an electric city car by 2013. Late in 2010, the automaker completed a $750 million expansion of its U.S. factory in Spartanburg, S.C., to make room for the revamped X3 SUV.
The company, which also makes Rolls-Royce and Mini models, sold about 1.46 million vehicles in 2010 and is targeting sales of more than 1.5 million units in 2011. [via autonews - sub. required]