The Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (BMW AG) intends to raise the number of vehicles it builds in the United States by about 43 percent to more than 200,000 annually by 2010, said Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer last Thursday.
Speaking to auto analysts at BMW's headquarters in Munich, Reithofer said the aim was to reduce the company's exposure to the weaker dollar, a paramount move given that the U.S. remains BMW's top single market. "We also have to buy more goods (in North America) to improve our natural hedging," Reithofer added.
The automaker's production capacity at its only U.S. production plant in Spartanburg, S.C., is around 140,000 vehicles per year. As part of its endeavor to increase vehicle production in the United States, it will be adding new model to its lineup - the new BMW X6. The vehicle will be manufactured in Spartanburg from 2008 onwards.
The BMW X6 is a full-size luxury crossover SUV to be released as a 2009 model. The vehicle, which has been in works for years, is inspired by the BMW X5 platform. The X6, dubbed as a SAV coupe, is now made sleeker and sportier than its X5 sibling. It will serve same function in the automaker's lineup as the 6 Series - an upscale coupe version of the high-volume 5 Series.
Though wrapped in hard body panels, it is obvious that the BMW X6 will have a lower stance and a sloping roof. The new crossover SUV is expected to give up the third row seats featured in the X5. This is to be done in favor of a tighter four passenger setup. The rest of dimensions of the vehicle as well as the drivetrain choices will resemble its BMW X5 sibling closely. Highland mats could keep grime, filth, oil, water, and dirt away from the vehicle. But no amount of precaution could keep prying eyes off the gorgeous BMW addition.
BMW said it expects pretax profit this year to rise above the 4.12 billion euros ($5.43 billion) it posted in 2006 on the expectations of increased auto sales.
Additionally, the company reported a 28 percent gain in net profit to 2.87 billion euros ($3.79 billion (2.87 billion euros). The increase was attributed to the one-time gain from the sale of a stake in British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce PLC. Shares of BMW were up 1.4 percent to 41.09 euros ($54.17) in Frankfurt trading.
The Euro has been running powerful and steady against the U.S. dollar. It is up more than 14 percent in recent months. Last Thursday, the 13-nation Euro purchased $1.3205 in late morning European trading and it went down from $1.3227 in New York late last Wednesday.