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BMW: U.S. output could rise 8.7%
BMW will likely make more than 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the first time in 2012, said Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America.

BMW is looking for the "best and most efficient way to get beyond" that production total in 2012, Willisch said.

Output of 300,000 vehicles from BMW's plant in Spartanburg, S.C., would be an increase of 8.7 percent from the 276,065 the company said it made there last year.

"The market is so bullish, we could sell more than originally anticipated," Willisch said on the sidelines of the National Automobile Dealers Association's annual convention in Las Vegas on Feb. 5. "Clearly, the demand is there."

BMW said Jan. 12 that it will invest about $900 million in its only U.S. factory to boost capacity and to prepare the facility for making the new X4 SUV.

The spending, to be completed during a three-year span, will help increase capacity at Spartanburg to 350,000 vehicles a year, the automaker said in a statement.

The factory already makes X3, X5 and X6 SUVs.

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