BMW strengthens U.S. economy, CEO tells shareholders

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:45s

BMW strengthens U.S. economy, CEO tells shareholders

German carmaker BMW strengthens the U.S. economy with its almost 70,000 jobs there and the biggest plant worldwide in South Carolina, Chief Executive Harald Krueger told shareholders in Munich on Thursday.

David Pollard reports.

BMW strengthens U.S. economy, CEO tells shareholders

In a week when Europe's car shares are buffeted by U.S. trade winds, BMW - one of the continent's biggest carmakers blows back.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) BMW CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HARALD KRUEGER, SAYING (on U.S. MARKET): "We secure close to 70,000 jobs in the United States directly and indirectly.

Our biggest plant worldwide is in Spartanburg - for the past 25 years.

Until the end of 2018 we invested around 9 billion dollars, with a further 600 million until 2021.

We, ladies and gentlemen, strengthen the U.S. economy." This is Spartanburg in South Carolina where BMW builds X3 through to X7 models - models exported, the carmaker says, to more than 140 countries.

It's not so much cars made locally in the U.S. that are the focus of tension with Europe, as imports.

Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on those if on Wednesday reports indicated they'd be delayed.

The news welcomed by investors at a time when European carmakers face a second challenge of new emissions rules.

As for BMW: it last week announced a near 80 percent hit to first quarter profits on one-off charges.

But remains upbeat.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) BMW CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HARALD KRUEGER, SAYING (on REVENUE): "On the operational side we remain on track for the full year.

I am certain that we can continue our successful development." BMW has assured Hungary its plans for a factory there will go ahead, the Hungarian government said on Thursday.

And X3 production has been increased not only in Spartanburg to reduce exposure to U.S./China trade tariffs ... But also in China, where growth, BMW said on Thursday, is more dynamic, "than all other premium carmakers."

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