BMW sees 5-10 percent sales growth in China despite tariffs

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BMW (BMWG.DE) expects China sales to rise between 5 and 10 percent this year, despite the introduction of 40 percent import tariffs on vehicles imported from the United States since July.

BMW recently started building its X3 in China, ending imports of the model from its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and raised prices on the X5 and X6 models to compensate for the tariffs.

“We now have more than six models built in China,” Chief Executive Harald Krueger said. “We are exporting the X5 from Thailand to China.”

BMW still exports some X5 models from the United States to Asia, but it is reviewing ways to optimize its flexible production network to adapt to changes in the political landscape, the company said.

BMW will also react by pricing new modes like its X7, in a way that they will be profitable in all markets where they are sold, the company said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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