Mexican plant continuing as it always had, says BMW CEO after meeting with Trump
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The meeting between BMW CEO Harald Krüger and U.S. President Donald Trump "went well", the executive told at a press conference in Munich days after he took part in the committee that joined Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to the White House.
Krüger was to make a representation for the German economy highlighting their strong presence in the US market.
Krüger said the president was very interested in BMW's programs for further education and training. "The president was very interesting in our training systems and we took employees along with us to explain how they work," he said. These included workers from the Spartanburg plant and German suppliers such as Schaeffler and Siemens.
He told Trump the company employed 9,000 auto workers in the U.S. and that as much as 70% of the Spartanburg plant's output was exported. For every job created in the plant, BMW claims 10 are created in the supply chain and support services, both within the state of South Carolina and beyond.
Krüger said, without elaborating, he did not raise the question of Trump's suggested 35% border tax on vehicles imported from Mexico. Instead he told the president free trade was a "precondition" so BMW could export from Spartanburg.
As far as the new plant being developed in Mexico was concerned, "our planning is continuing as it always had".
The plant, in San Luis Potosi, is due to roll off its first 3 Series cars for export in 2019 and will also compensate for a reallocation at the South African factory which replace current 3 Series sedan output with the X3.