August 2, 2018 21:25 CET
BMW expects its China sales to rise between 5 percent and 10 percent this year, despite the introduction of 40 percent import tariffs on vehicles imported from the U.S.
Because BMW earlier this year stopped exporting its X3 SUV from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to China it has been able to avoid a 40 percent import tariff imposed since July.
Demand for new models such as the large X7 SUV, built in Spartanburg, is so high that BMW is confident it can adjust prices to still make a profit on cars exported from the U.S. to China.
It has already raised prices on its X5 and X6 models imported from Spartanburg and is building a “significant portion” of between 10,000 and 20,000 X5 models in Thailand so they can be exported to China.
This is one action “to counteract tariffs,” CEO Harald Krueger said.
BMW recently started building the X3 in China. “We now have more than six models built in China,” Krueger said.
BMW recently hatched plans to significantly boost output in China over the next few years.
The company still exports some X5 models from the U.S. to Asia, but it is reviewing ways to optimize its flexible production network to adapt to changes in the political landscape.
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