FRANKFURT -- German premium automaker BMW would look in five to 10 years at exporting cars built at its joint venture in China, Chief Executive Helmut Panke said in an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper.
"Looking at it over the long term, in a time frame of five or 10 years, we will be confronted with the question about whether we should build a model in China for export," Panke said in the interview published on Monday. "Actually it's our strategy to ship cars all over the world from each production plant."
Panke said the Chinese car market would continue to grow at a fast clip, despite first-quarter figures that show demand fell on the year for the first time in more than a decade.
"The market will double here within the next five years," he said.
BMW will post quarterly results on Tuesday. Analysts are forecasting on average a 2 percent decline in pretax profit to 834 million euros due to high ramp-up costs for its new 3-series sedan that started retailing early in March.
Panke said that overall vehicle orders to date were higher than he expected.
"Spring has been better than we could have guessed at the beginning of this year," he said, denying though that BMW was artificially boosting demand through higher incentives.
"If anything, the level of incentives has fallen," he said.