BMW Group wants to decrease its reliance on Germany as a car-making base, Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW's production chief told Automotive News Europe.
In 2002, the automaker produced about 70 percent of its vehicles in Germany, where it currently has eight plants. "At the end of 2010, the figure was 62 percent. And now it has come down to 58 percent. In the medium term, it will shift further toward 50-50, just based on our plans for China and the U.S," Arndt said.
Regardless of where it decides to add production, Arndt said Germany would remain the "backbone" of BMW's manufacturing. "That's why we invest another 2 billion euros in 2011-2012 to keep improving these plants. The next [investment] package for 2013-2014 will be decided soon," Arndt said.
In Germany, BMW runs four vehicle assembly plants (Dingolfing, Leipzig, Munich, Regensburg), three factories that make components (Eisenach, Landshut, Wackersdorf) and one motorcycle assembly facility (Berlin).
By 2020, the BMW Group wants to sell 2 million cars, up from 1.46 million last year. The company says it does not need to open any complete assembly plants to reach its goal, however, it will decide this year on whether to start complete knockdown (CKD) production of vehicles at a plant in Brazil. In addition, BMW will increase capacity in its existing vehicle production plants in China, the United States, India and Russia.
BMW also aims for more gains in productivity. Said Arndt: "Manufacturing makes its own contribution to the company's success. Our goal is to increase our productivity by 7 percent to 8 percent a year on average. We achieved more than 15 percent in 2010. In 2011, we will see a double-digit increase of more than 10 percent."
These increases come despite BMW's launch of 11 new or refreshed models this year and its plans to debut more than 10 vehicles in 2012. Key arrivals next year are the three-door 1 series to join the five-door variant, which is already on sale, and an all-new 3 series.