German automaker BMW might consider building a second plant in North America to manufacture its quick-selling 3 Series.
“We will decide this in the next months,” Harald Krueger, BMW’s production chief, said in an interview in an internal publication for staff obtained by Bloomberg News.
“On the North American continent, there’s still potential.”
People familiar with the matter said that BMW has narrowed its location for this plant, including two sites in Mexico. They added that the German automaker might manufacture its best-selling 3 Series at this plant. Last month CEO Norbert Reithofer said that BMW will need at some point a new plant in the region, part of its expansion plan to fend off rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
At the end of March, BMW made public its plans to invest $1 billion in the expansion of itsSouth Carolinaplant, which will become the automaker’s largest plant in the world. BMW will also increase capacity by 50% to 450,000 by2016 inSpartanburgwhere it builds SUVs and will also add a large SUv, the X7.
“As part of our long-term growth strategy we’re frequently looking at different countries for possible locations for future production,” Mathias Schmidt, a BMW spokesman, said by phone.
“No decisions have been made yet, though, for a new plant in North America.”
BMW reported the best March in the US in the company’s history and managed to narrow the gap to Mercedes, which was the leader in North America luxury-car sales in 2013. In March BMW sold 32,107 units, up 19%, while Mercedes sold 27,401 units, up 11%.