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Auto Industry

Carmaker BMW to reach sales targets years ahead of schedule

German carmaker BMW has said it may be able to meet a self-proclaimed sales target about two years ahead of schedule. Figures for the first two months of 2014 indicated the company was on track for a new record.

The Munich-based multi-brand BMW Group said Tuesday it was aiming to sell at least 2 million cars in the course of the current year.

Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said ahead of the Geneva Motor Show his company only needed a 2-percent increase in sales year-on-year to meet that target, after shifting 1.96 million units worldwide in 2013.

Originally, BMW wanted to clear the 2 million hurdle in 2016 only, but an economic pickup in some of its main markets had instilled confidence in the carmaker that it could reach its objective ahead of schedule.

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"We expect a slight upswing in Europe, but we also keep banking on further growth in the US and China," Reithofer said in Geneva.

Figures released for the first two months of 2014 indicated that BMW's aspirations were realistic. The company - with its core BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands – posted an 8 percent increase in sales in January, followed by a 6 percent surge in February.

Rumors have long been going around that the luxury carmaker was toying with the idea of building a large new production facility in Mexico. BMW has never confirmed any such reports, but said if the company kept growing, it would not rule out a new plant in the US, Mexico or a country nearby.

hg/hc (dpa, Reuters)

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