BMW weighs U.S. engine, transmission plant

“We’re at the range where you could think about a second location,” BMW CEO Harold Krueger, in front of the iNext concept vehicle, said at the Los Angeles Auto Show Tuesday. Photo credit: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES — BMW is considering a second U.S. manufacturing plant that could produce engines and transmissions, CEO Harald Krueger said on Tuesday, shortly after a report that President Donald Trump would impose tariffs on imported light vehicles starting next week.

Krueger, in an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show, also said he backed British Prime Minister Theresa May’s current Brexit plan to divorce the United Kingdom from the European Union.

“The compromise on the table is something I can clearly support,” he said. May is drumming up support for the divorce deal with the European Union ahead of a December 11 vote in British parliament.

BMW is considering changes to its U.S. operations as sales in the region grow, Krueger said. BMW operates a vehicle assembly plant in South Carolina and is planning to open a Mexico factory next year, and is considering changes to its current practice of importing engines and transmissions.

“We’re at the range where you could think about a second location” in the United States, he said, adding that such a factory would provide a natural currency hedge.

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