According to internal documents leaked to Bloomberg News BMW is moving forward with plans to build a new factory in North America.
“We will decide this in the next months,” Harald Krueger, BMW’s production chief, said in an internal publication. “On the North American continent, there’s still potential.”
BMW has been looking at building a new plant in Mexico like its competitor Audi to build its best selling 3 Series for some time now. The company is also considering locations in the states, most likely near its South Carolina facility. Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said last month that BMW will need an additional factory in the region “at some point” as part of an expansion to fend off Audi and Mercedes-Benz. BMW is already investing $1 billion on expanding its South Carolina plant to build the new X7. BMW’s South Carolina plant will become its largest facility worldwide, surpassing Dingolfing’s 375,000 max production with its 450,000 annual units.
Building the 3 Series in North America would be better for BMW’s bottom line as it would be less exposed to currency values, and workforce constraints. Moving production would also shorten the delivery time for customer vehicles and allow the possibility for more individualization. There has also been discussions about building the BMWi vehicles at this new facility to shorten supply chains and to decrease the cost of these vehicles.
Something is certainly bound to happen in the next few months as more and more these rumors are starting to be heard.