Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury autos, will invest about $900 million in its South Carolina factory to expand capacity and prepare the facility to produce a new sport-utility vehicle.
The spending, to be completed by 2014, will help increase capacity at the plant in Spartanburg to 350,000 vehicles a year from the 276,100 autos made there last year, the Munich-based company said today in a statement. BMW will make the new X4 SUV at the factory, adding to the X3, X5 and X6 models already assembled there.
With the exception the compact X1, BMW manufactures all of its SUVs in Spartanburg, which is its only U.S. assembly plant. More than 70 percent of the factory’s cars are exported. With this investment, the German automaker will have invested about $6 billion at the facility, which was opened in 1994.
BMW, which is fending off efforts by Volkswagen AG’s Audi and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz to take the industry’s top sales spot, targets sales of more than 2 million vehicles by 2020. The company sold 1.67 million BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars last year. To help meet demand, BMW plans to set up a factory in Brazil.
The German automaker, which will start deliveries of a revamped version of the best-selling 3-Series sedan in February, expects 2012 sales growth surpassing that of the entire auto market, which may expand more than 4 percent, Ian Robertson, BMW’s sales chief, said at the Detroit motor show on Jan. 9.
BMW plans to create 300 jobs at the Spartanburg plant this year, adding to its workforce of more than 7,000 people.
The stock rose 1.4 percent to 59.74 euros at 3:58 p.m. in Frankfurt.
--Editors: Thomas Mulier, Tom Lavell
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