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Old 03-15-2007, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default BMW to increase yearly U.S. production

BMW to increase yearly U.S. production


FRANKFURT, Germany Automaker BMW AG hopes to increase the number of cars it builds in the United States by nearly 43% to more than 200,000 annually by 2010, Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said today.

Speaking to analysts at BMWs headquarters in Munich, Reithofer said the aim was to reduce the companys exposure to the weaker dollar, a paramount move given that the U.S. remains BMWs top single market.

We also have to buy more goods (in North America) to improve our natural hedging, Reithofer said.

The euro has been running strong and steady against the U.S. dollar, up more than 14 percent in recent months. On Thursday, the 13-nation euro bought $1.3205 in late morning European trading, down from $1.3227 in New York late Wednesday.

BMWs annual production capacity at its only U.S. production plant in Spartanburg, S.C., is currently around 140,000 vehicles.

BMWs new X6 model will be produced in Spartanburg from 2008 onward as part of the companys effort to increase capacity in the United States.

This week, the automaker said it expects pretax profit this year to rise above the 4.12 billion euros ($5.43 billion) it posted in 2006 on the expectations of increased auto sales.

The company also reported a 28 percent gain in net profit to 2.87 billion euros ($3.79 billion (2.87 billion euros) ) thanks to a one-time gain from the sale of a stake in British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce PLC.
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