May 18, 2012 / 11:55 AM / 6 years ago

BMW eyes new production sites abroad: source

MUNICH (Reuters) - Premium carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) is considering new production sites around the world, with one option being Mexico, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters on Friday.

A logo of BMW is pictured on a car before the German luxury carmaker BMW annual shareholders meeting at the company's headquarters in Munich, May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Guido Krzikowski

German daily Handelsblatt earlier cited company sources as saying BMW was examining whether to build plants in Mexico and eastern Europe. It said Slovakia’s Kosice and Hungary’s Miskolc were possible candidates.

BMW declined to comment. Earlier this month, it denied reports it plans to build an assembly plant in Slovakia.

Just like its peers, BMW sees sales volume growing faster abroad in coming years than in Europe, where the market is shrinking amid the euro zone debt crisis.

It wants to build a plant in Brazil, but has threatened to pull the plug on this if new government policies there meant it could not profitably make cars.

Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) premium brand Audi, a rival to BMW, revealed plans last month to build a factory in Mexico to take advantage of low labor costs there, as well as an exemption from import duties in some regions.

Reporting by Irene Preisinger; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Hulmes

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