BMW may build a new factory in South America image

German automaker BMW is considering establishing a production plant in South America as sales continue to grow strongly there.

While key sales markets are still Germany, the US, China and the UK, BMW Group chairman Norbert Reithofer said the company grew dynamically last year particularly in Brazil and other South American markets.

He added: “As a next strategic step we are considering further production sites, for instance in South America. Final decisions have not been made yet but our credo has always been that production follows the market. So it is a matter of course that we observe all emerging markets closely.”

The BMW Group completed 2010 with an all time record in sales of 22,235 BMW and MINI cars in the Latin American and the Caribbean Region.

This achievement represents a growth of 51% (prev. yr 14,761) for the region. All main markets in the Latin American and the Caribbean Region grew consistently in 2010: Chile (2,240 units / +102%), Argentina (4,279 units / +57%), Brazil (9,886 units / +55%) and Colombia (2,203 units /+26%).

These sales figures were bolstered by BMW Motorrad who also experienced a promising motorcycle sales year.

BMW already assembles vehicles in the US, India, China and South Africa – as well as the UK where Mini and Rolls-Royce cars are made.

In Chennai, India, it assembles the 3- and 5-series as well as the X1. Reithofer added: “We will also make the X3 there from the second quarter of this year onward.”

In China BMW is due to start production at its new plant in Shenyang next year pushing production capacity in the country to more than 150,000 a year.