BMW says will stick to investment plans despite Trump threats

A BMW logo as seen on a BMW X5 car at a showroom in Jakarta, Indonesia January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta

BOCHUM, Germany (Reuters) - Germany's BMW BMWG.DE will stick to its investment plans for Mexico and the United States despite warnings from President Donald Trump to impose border taxes on cars imported into the United States, the luxury carmaker's CEO said.

“We need free world trade,” BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger told an automotive congress in Bochum on Wednesday, adding that BMW would also continue to invest in its U.S. Spartanburg plant.

Krueger said that BMW exported 70 percent of annual production at its Spartanburg plant, where it makes more than 400,000 cars a year, making it the country’s biggest net-exporter.

Trump last month warned the United States would impose a border tax of 35 percent on imported cars.

Germany's three leading carmakers, Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE, Daimler DAIGn.DE and BMW, have invested heavily in Mexico where production costs are lower than in the United States, with an eye to exporting smaller vehicles to the world's No.2 car market.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Christoph Steitz