The automaker currently builds about 62 percent of its cars in Germany, down from 70 percent in 2002, but once plants in China come fully onboard this figure will approach the 50 percent mark.
Now factor in plans to start building cars in more emerging markets such as Brazil, something currently under consideration at BMW headquarters in Munich, then it’s very easy to see that the German automaker may soon be building more cars outside of its homeland.
The information was revealed by BMW's production chief, Frank-Peter Arndt, who spoke recently with Automotive News Europe.
The move is crucial to avoid currency fluctuations, which can easily eat away at profit levels for reasons completely out of the automaker’s control. That’s why we’ve recently seen production increased at sites like the plant in Spartanburg, SC, and there’s potentially more to come in the near future.
Such a move also make sense as BMW’s sales in the U.S. are at record levels, with the automaker currently sitting on roughly a 2.3 percent share of the market. Additionally, BMW’s sales in the U.S. are expected to surpass those of Germany for the first time this year. The gap was just 252 vehicles last year.
Arndt said production was also being increased at existing plants in China, India and Russia, with the automaker looking to reach two million vehicle sales by the year 2020, up from 1.46 million last year.
Of course, BMW has no plans to forget its homeland, with the automaker continuing to invest billions of dollars each year in its local facilities. BMW currently has eight plants in Germany, four of which are used to build cars. There are no plans to open up anymore, although the automaker is looking to increase capacity through productivity gains.
Last week production of the new 2012 BMW 3-Series started at the automaker’s main plant in Munich.