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BMW pushes for record sales, expects significant rise in pretax profit

BMW pushes for record sales, expects significant rise in pretax profit
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BMW’s shares soared on Wednesday after the German carmaker said it expects record sales of more than two million vehicles this year, as well as a rise in pretax profit.

As part of that it is looking at raising production capacity at its plant in the United States and releasing 12 new models. It will also build more cars in China.

The owner of the Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW brands said the forecasts are based on the assumption that political and economic conditions remain stable, and on a steady recovery in European markets.

BMW expects significant growth in markets outside of Europe including high single-digit growth in North America and low double-digit growth in China.

Last week, the company reported lower fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). That was down 14 percent at 1.77 billion euros but better than expected.

“The US will stay a market with great potential for us. This is why we are evaluating the possibility of increasing capacity in the US,” Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said at the company’s annual results news conference.

BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina currently has an annual production capacity of around 350,000 and makes sport utility vehicles, including the X3, X4, X5 and X6 models.