Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), the world’s largest maker of luxury autos, probably will make more than 300,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the first time in 2012, the chief executive officer of its North America unit said.

BMW is looking for the “best and most efficient way to get beyond” that production total in 2012, Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, said in a Feb. 5 interview. Output of 300,000 vehicles from BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, 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. “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 sport-utility vehicle. The spending, to be completed during a three-year span, will help increase capacity at Spartanburg to 350,000 vehicles a year, the Munich-based company said in a statement. The factory already makes X3, X5 and X6 SUVs.

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BMW Likely to Boost U.S. Production at Least 8.7% to Meet Demand

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