It’s likely that BMW will produce over 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the first time in 2012, according to Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America. He said that BMW wants to achieve is the "best and most efficient way to get beyond" this production total in 2012.
BMW's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, produced 300,000 vehicles, which is 8.7% higher than last year’s output of 276,065 vehicles. On the sidelines of the National Automobile Dealers Association's annual convention in Las Vegas on Feb. 5, Willisch said that this market is “so bullish” and could sell higher than initially expected.
He explained that the demand is “clearly” there. On Jan. 12, BMW said that it would invest around $900 million in its only U.S. factory to increase capacity and to set up the facility to produce the new X4 SUV. In a statement, BMW said that this spending, which will be completed during a three-year span, will help boost capacity at Spartanburg to 350,000 vehicles annually.
BMW’s X3, X5 and X6 SUVs are already built at this factory. Tracy Handler, an analyst based in Troy, Michigan, said that what BMW expects for its production is higher than the estimates by IHS Automotive, which predicts that Spartanburg output will decline to around 260,000 this year. Handler said that U.S. sales had “good momentum” in January but it continues to be “pretty cautious” on what will happen in the U.S. as well as the impact of events in Greece and Europe.