The stark reality of global economy keen on pushing a strong Euro against a comparatively weak American dollar has finally hit home among Germany’s luxury car makers, or so it would seem.
In a week when Mercedes-Benz made headlines on confirmation that its chariman, Dieter Zetsche, was looking to shift the production of a good chunk of annual C-class volume to its Tuscaloosa factory in North America, comes word that BMW boss, Norbert Reithofer, is also considering a similar move with the next-generation 3-series.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Mercedes-Benz and BMW have produced their most popular models outside of Germany, of course. Mercedes-Benz once assembled the C-class saloon for the North American market in Brazil and continues to build the C-class Coupe there in small numbers.
At the same time, many right-hand drive 3-series saloons, including those sold in the UK, hail from BMW’s sprawling Roslyn plant in South Africa.
What is interesting with these latest developments at BMW and Mercedes-Benz, however, are the parallels that can be drawn with those long apparent at Jaguar and Land Rover, which for decades now have had to endure the financial pain brought on by a strong pound and a burning desire to continue production in the UK.