FRANKFURT -- BMW may start building more cars in the United States, the head of the group's sales and marketing told a newspaper on Friday, a move that would reduce the firm's exposure to currency fluctuations.
BMW currently produces around 150,000 Z4 roadster and X5 sports utility vehicles each year at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it has invested almost $2 billion since it broke ground at the facility over a decade ago.
"I can imagine us also producing other models at Spartanburg in the long term," Michael Ganal, board member responsible for sales and marketing, told the Financial Times Deutschland.
BMW said in May the United States had become its largest market for the first time, but unlike some other automakers, it has not seen profits hit by the recent strength of the euro because it is fully hedged for this year and two thirds hedged for 2004.
Analysts worry that in the longer term the company could suffer from a strong euro, which makes cars produced in Europe more expensive in the U.S., if it does not increase production in the dollar area.
The company has planning permission to double its capacity at Spartanburg, which currently accounts for around 13 percent of its global output, as it strives to increase its annual sales by around 40 percent to 1.4 million vehicles by 2008.
Norbert Reithofer, the BMW board member responsible for production, said a year ago that the company could produce its forthcoming X3, a smaller version of the X5 which has been one of its main growth drivers in the U.S., at Spartanburg.