BMW Intends to Stay the Course in Face of New Tariff Proposal

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bmw intends to stay the course in face of new tariff proposal

BMW Group CEO Harald Krüger says the automaker fully intends on sicking with its current investment strategies in Mexico and the United States, even after President Donald Trump’s proposal to levy steep import taxes on vehicles brought into American borders.

“We need free world trade,” Krueger told the CAR Symposium automotive congress in Bochum, Germany, on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, BMW said it was going to complete construction of a billion-dollar factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, for the 3 Series — a vehicle that would be subject to Trump’s theoretical 20-percent tariff. It also plans to continue investing it its Spartanburg, South Carolina assembly plant. Spartanburg produces over 400,000 X3, X4, X5 and X6 crossovers annually and exports the majority out of the United States.

BMW is investing over one billion dollars to expand annual capacity in Spartanburg to 450,000 units and add the upcoming X7 SUV to its production lines.

While BMW is sticking to its guns at the moment, it has previously stated that it isn’t willing to roll with the punches. BMW brand’s board member for sales Ian Robertson told Automotive News Europe ,”If there was a real change in the tariff system, like there often is with changes in tariff systems around the world, we have the flexibility.”

All of Germany’s large automakers — Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group, and BMW — have made considerable investments in Mexico in recent years, as production costs are typically lower than in North America.

[Image: BMW] [Source: Reuters]

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  • Orenwolf Orenwolf on Feb 01, 2017

    If the government wants to create a revenue stream taxing well-off bimmer buyers, I'm sure BMW could care less. Their customers can afford it. Good way to tax the wealthy. Especially if the tariff fees are used to promote domestic job creation somehow. Of course, their SUV's are all made locally already, aren't they?

  • VW4motion VW4motion on Feb 01, 2017

    By the time BMW makes any real traction with Hecho en Mexico Trump will be gone. Even if if takes 4 years which I doubt it will. BMW will be just fine.

  • Sceptic Sceptic on Feb 02, 2017

    The US tariff will be offset by the lower cost of production in Mexico vs Germany. An those Mex made 3-series will be bought by non-discerning buyers at 2% discount vs Ger made. So Mexico strategy is sound. But, Krueger should be careful what he wishes for. It may just might come true. New Asian producers(ie Chinese) will take over the global auto markets. Just like Japanese/Taiwanese did in consumer electronics. It's interesting to see how the initial shock at Trumps actions becomes more and more palatable to liberal pundits and tv jockeys. The crying and freakouts are fading away. It's a new normal. Deal with it. Good going!

    • See 2 previous
    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 02, 2017

      Scoutdude, WTF? You will find current 3D printing is at the same stage in developement as a 1000 year old treadle wood lathe. From the wood lathe came metal working lathes, then robotic lathes. Robotics are the answer to affordable and competitive manufacturing. You don't require low skilled workers that are expensive and demanding. The jobs will be higher skilled. Look at the agri industry, mundane work, controlled by OECD economies. The same can occur with manufacturing if the Luddites pull their heads in.

  • Bunkie Bunkie on Feb 02, 2017

    "The crying and freakouts are fading away." There's this river in Egypt you should read up on...

    • See 1 previous
    • VW4motion VW4motion on Feb 02, 2017

      @FreedMike, +1