Wheels24

Brazil auto market beckons BMW

2012-10-23 09:05

BMW is just one of many manufacturers which have chosen to enter the burgeoning Brazilian auto market and intends to open a car assembly plant there as early as 2014.

The company said it would invest the equivalent of about R2.25-billion in Santa Catarina state.

'HUGE POTENTIAL'

Ian Robertson, former boss of BMW SA and now chairman of the board, Ian Robertson said: "Brazil is a market with huge potential for the BMW group, which is why we are expanding our long-term engagement there.”

However, before the plan could continue, the Brazilian government needed to give the go ahead. The company already assembles motorcycles in Manaus, Brazil.

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer sketched out the plans in late 2011 but tough negotiations followed. The plant could create 1000 jobs and produce 30 000 cars a year. In 2011, BMW produced 1.7-million vehicles worldwide, of which 15 200 were sold in Brazil.

"With this step, the firm is carrying out its strategy of production following the market. That has already proved itself in markets such as the US, China andIndia," Robertson said.

South African was the first country to assemble BMW cars outside of Germany.