In an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW CEO Harald Krüger has opened the door to a second manufacturing plant in the US.
Last year the company celebrated 25 years since opening its existing US assembly plant in Spartanburg, SC. Over a quarter century later, Krüger feels the company is "at the range where you could think about a second location", dedicated to producing engines and transmissions.
With a new plant in Mexico planned to open next year, it would see BMW tripling its presence in North America. It's an understandable move with NAFTA 2.0 looming; the new free trade agreement will mean that cars will only be able to sold with no tariffs if 75% of its components are made in the US, Canada or Mexico — up from 62.5% at present. Adding transmissions and engines to the list of components that can be built locally is going to make that threshold far easier to reach, potentially reducing costs for domestic customers.
Krüger also pointed out that the new plant would help protect BMW from currency fluctuations.
With Krüger and his counterparts from Volkswagen and Daimler due to visit the White House to discuss international trade, BMW looks to be positioning itself for whatever agreements are — and aren't — reached.