DETROIT -- BMW Group executives say U.S. sales in 2011 will likely surpass the company’s volume in Germany for the first time.
Last year, the United States fell just 252 vehicles short of overtaking Germany as the company's single largest market, said Jim O'Donnell, CEO of BMW of North America. The figures include the Mini brand.
BMW says it sold 266,009 vehicles in Germany in 2010.
O'Donnell says U.S. sales will pass Germany because the U.S. economy is on the mend and because dealers will have a full year with the redesigned X3 SUV.
"The X3 has been a huge boost for us," said O'Donnell at the auto show today.
Meanwhile, BMW’s U.S. assembly plant in Spartanburg, S.C., will produce at full capacity of 240,000 units in 2011, said Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing, the company’s U.S. production arm.
The newly expanded plant boosted capacity by 50 percent last year as it added production of the new X3.