Despite warnings from President Trump, BMW Group says it will stay committed to its plans to build a plant in Mexico. “We need free world trade,” BMW CEO Harald Krueger told the CAR-Symposium automotive congress in Bochum on Wednesday.

BMW said that it plans to finish construction of a new $1 billion plant for its 3 series in Mexico. undeterred by threats from the president that he will introduce heavy tariffs on cars imported into the U.S. from its southern neighbor. Krueger also said BMW would also continue to invest in its Spartanburg plant in the U.S., its largest worldwide.

BMW exports 70 percent of annual production at the Spartanburg plant, making it the country’s biggest net exporter, he said.

Last month, BMW board member Dr. Ian Robertson also commented on the company’s plans.

 “We need additional capacity, so we have chosen to build a plant in Mexico,” he said. The Spartanburg plant produces up to 450,000 cars per year, he said.

“I don’t think there’s any discussion that BMW is not at home in the United States. Yes we are building a plant in Mexico,” BMW sales and marketing director Ian Robertson told the BBC.

“Yes we built a plant in Brazil last year. Yes we are building plants in other parts of the world as our capacity increases. But that’s part of a normal strategic manufacturing direction.”

“In a global setup, this is normal business,” he said. “At the end of the day, our commitment to the U.S. is strong.”

Germany’s three leading carmakers, Volkswagen Group, Daimler AG and BMW, have invested heavily in Mexico where production costs are lower than in the U.S., with an eye to exporting smaller vehicles to the world’s No. 2 car market.

[Source: AutoNews]