3/18/2019

BMW Ponders U.S. Source for Transmissions

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BMW AG is considering a U.S. supplier for at least some of the transmissions used in crossover vehicles made by its factory in South Carolina.

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BMW AG says it is considering a U.S. supplier for at least some of the transmissions used in crossover vehicles made by its factory in Spartanburg, S.C.

CEO Harald Kruger told reporters that talks are underway with an unnamed manufacturer. He says a decision could come this summer. Automotive News points out that BMW buys some of its gearboxes in Europe from Friedrichshafen AG, which has production facilities in the U.S.

Any decision could take a year or more to implement, the newspaper says. Kruger says the decision will be based on production forecasts and not the more immediate possibility of U.S. tariffs on foreign-made components and vehicles.

BMW said last week that its Spartanburg complex made 356,700 vehicles in 2018, down slightly because of model updates. Kruger says that’s still enough volume to make local transmission sourcing economically feasible.