While the German car brand Mercedes-Benz is closing two factories before the Christmas holidays due to a lack of computer chips, BMW announced that it will also build its SUV X5 in China due to strong demand for the model. Currently, BMW only makes the X5 in the United States, in the state of South Carolina. The Chinese-built X5 will be sold in the local market, a spokesman said.
Construction should start in the second quarter of next year at the Chinese joint venture BMW Brilliance. From January to September this year, BMW sold a total of about 670.000 vehicles in China, making the country the company's main market. Production of the X5 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, continues as usual, according to BMW. Business newspaper Handelsblatt reported earlier in the day about the construction of the X5 in China, which BMW has now confirmed.
The shortage of computer chips concerns a factory in the German city of Bremen and a branch in the Hungarian city of Kecskemét. The factory in Bremen should start up again on January 10, and the one in Kecskemét should also start up again that week. According to Mercedes-Benz, part of Daimler, the production break will be used, among other things, for maintenance work. Mercedes-Benz in Bremen employs about 12.500 people and about 4700 at Kecskemét. Daimler has had to interrupt production several times because of the acute chip shortages, which also affect many other major car manufacturers.