BMW AG's North American purchasing dipped by about $200 million last year as production of the X5 SUV and Z4 roadster in South Carolina decreased 14 percent.
BMW bought $4.4 billion worth of parts in the North American Free Trade Agreement region - Canada, the United States and Mexico - in 2004, down from $4.6 billion in 2003.
But the number could rise this year. Along with other European manufacturers, BMW has been hit by the rising value of the euro against the dollar. One line of defense is buying more parts in North America.
The company is trying to increase local content at its Spartanburg, S.C., assembly plant and to find additional NAFTA-region parts for other BMW plants worldwide. The Spartanburg subsidiary is the North American purchasing agent for BMW AG.
BMW has said it will build a crossover vehicle in the Spartanburg plant within three years.
Volumes are expected to be about 35,000 annually.
And two German suppliers have told of plans to build parts plants near Spartanburg to serve BMW.
Benteler Automotive of Paderborn, Germany, will open a plant to supply large integrated chassis modules. It supplies a similar chassis system to the Chrysler Pacifica SUV in Windsor, Ontario.
Hengst GmbH & Co. KG of Munster, Germany, also said it will build its first U.S. plant near Spartanburg to supply filter components for air, fuel and oil filter systems.
Both plants are expected to be completed by year end.
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