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BMW planning to shift more production to China

German carmaker BMW plans to shift more of its production capacity to China, a spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
Under the new plans, the X5 sport utility vehicle (SUV) will no longer be produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina, but also in China.
The company’s X line of SUV vehicles was originally made exclusively in the US, but BMW has long since begun diversifying, with some product lines moved to China and others to South Africa.
China is BMW’s largest single market, just as it is for other German carmakers, like Volkswagen and Daimler. BMW sold about 1.9 million cars in the first nine months of 2021, and almost 670,000 of those in China. The move to production in China has long been anticipated.
Production needs to follow demand, said the BMW spokesperson, because it allows the company to finesse its products more closely to specific Chinese demands. Moving production also cuts down on cutsoms fees, which have gotten worse thanks to trade tensions that have ratcheted up since 2018.
BMW is also taking steps to take over a majority share of its production joint venture with Brilliance in early 2022, the first time a foreign carmaker has made such a move. If the plan works, BMW would own 75 per cent of the operation.
According to the Handelsblatt newspaper, which cited company sources, it is also planning an electric version of its BMW 3 to be made exclusively in China. The spokesperson would not comment on the reports, calling them “speculation.”